Locals on what they think about Jeremy Clarkson's plans to open pub (2024)

Locals are excited aboutJeremy Clarkson's plans to renovate a rundown Cotswolds' pub in their quiet village.

The television presenter, 64, paid 'less than £1 million' for The Windmill, an elegant and highly rated establishment near Burford, Oxfordshire, where he hopes to set up a new venture withall-British ingredients and bar games.

The dilapidated wedding venue is set to be totally transformed by the Grand Tour host, who claimed the site had previously been 'a famous dogging site', while one local thought it had been used for underground bare knuckle boxing fights.

The disruption caused by Clarkson's Diddly Squat Farm Shop in Chadlington has attracted some criticism from neighbours, but the inhabitants of nearby Asthall have so far given Clarkson's big plans the benefit of the doubt.

Although, it is not the locals he will need to win over, as the former Top Gear host will need to avoid causing any further upsets with West Oxfordshire District Council, who the star has had a painstaking relationship with for the last few years.

Clarkson first clashed with the local council soon after he opened his farm shop which later caused congestion on the roads due to its popularity, while most recently he was forced to close his own restaurantfor breaching planning rules.

Jeremy Clarkson (pictured) is planning to transform aCotswolds pub

The Windmill, an elegant and highly rated establishment near Burford, Oxfordshire, which has been brought by the presenter for'less than £1 million'

The dilapidated wedding venue (pictured) is set to be totally transformed by the Grand Tour host

Inhabitants of nearby Asthall, including farmer Tom Walker (pictured) have so far given Clarkson's big plans the benefit of the doubt

The TV star regularly moans about restrictions placed on his farm in Chadlington by West Oxfordshire District Council and Chadlington Parish Council on his hit Amazon show Clarkson's Farm.

Read More Jeremy Clarkson reveals plans for his Cotswolds pub

Since he started filming for the show in 2019, a total of 10 planning applications have been submitted to West Oxfordshire Council for work on Diddly Squat farm.

He first clashed with the local council in 2020 soon after he opened his farm shop, and it became an instant success with visitors.

Long queues built up on the road leading to the farm shop and Clarkson was forced to apologise to villagers for the congestion and damage caused by cars parking on the roadside.

But West Oxfordshire District Council later got involved, albeit over a separate issue.

Theformer Top Gear host was told to resubmit an application to after he supposedly used the wrong materials for the roof.

Jeremy Clarkson has constantly clashed with local authority over plans for his Diddly Squat farm in Chadlington, Oxfordshire

Clarkson was previously ordered to shut down his 60-seater restaurant at the farm (pictured) for breaching planning rules

Locals have complained about the number of visitors attracted to the Cotswolds farm, with long queues such as those seen above, often descending on the shop in summer

Locals have also complained about the traffic caused by the farm which attracts visitors from around the country

Another setback came in 2022, when Clarkson was denied permission to expand the farm shop with a new restaurant and 70-space car park.

The council had received more than 50 objections from locals over fears of increased traffic in the village.

Despite this, Clarkson moved on with his plans by instead turning an old lambing barn into an eatery after exploiting a 'cunning loophole'.

He told reporters at the time: 'We found a cunning little loophole - it's a weight off my shoulders and appeals to my anti-establishment bent'.

But just days later, the council launched an investigation into the new restaurant 'to ensure it is compliant with local and national planning law and policies as well as licensing and food hygiene rules'.

One council source told MailOnline at the time: 'The council's view is that the same planning rules should apply to everybody.

'We will treat Jeremy Clarkson in the exact same way as any other resident of West Oxfordshire.'

After six weeks he was ordered to shut it down for breaching planning rules with an appeal also ruled out. Residents had again claimed the establishment was causing heavy traffic.

The Windmill is currently a wedding venue although in his column for the Sunday Times, Clarkson spoke of its grounds as previously being 'a famous dogging site'

Once it has been transformed, the venue (pictured) will be complete with a new name as well as a ban on noisy TVs, fruit machines and 'confusing' toilet signs

The outside of the pub is completely overgrown, while the state of the interior remains a mystery

The venue offers a large car park and quaint decking area as well as an expansive field complete with several benches

It also offers glorious views of the Cotswolds countryside

But it seems locals in Asthall, a village near to where Clarkson plans to open his new pub, are supporters of his endeavours.

Tom Walker, 51, who farms livestock and arable, was confident Clarkson's arrival would buoy the local farming community.

Read More China's latest TV hit? It's Clarkson's Farm! (Even if one fan affectionately calls Jeremy a 'stupid old Brit with too much money')

'He's already spoken to some of the farmers and talked about using their produce,' Tom said, adding: 'I think he does a lot of good for farming.'

Tom, who runs the farm with his cousin John, had reservations about the influx of people.

He said: 'I am worried about the traffic - they will hopefully come off the main road.

'I think it will do more good than harm.'

Neighbour Derek Netherton, 79, who rents out an Airbnb in the village, was also optimistic about The Windmill's new owner.

He said: 'We are excited for the extra custom, but we're apprehensive about the noise.

'With a bit of luck the traffic will stay on the A40, as the roads are very narrow.'

Derek Netherton, 79, who rents out an Airbnb in the village, was also optimistic about The Windmill's new owner

Derek said he had watched Clarkson's Farm, which he praised for being very good for farmers.

In the Sunday Times, Clarkson spoke of The Windmill's grounds as previously being 'a famous dogging site'.

Read More Jeremy Clarkson calls for teenagers to work on farms instead of doing 'idiotic' national service

Derek added his understanding that the area had been used for underground bare knuckle boxing fights.

Chris Townsend, 50, a metal wall art sculptor, hoped people would flock to Clarkson's new pub.

He said: 'It potentially could be really positive for the area as The Windmill had been struggling for years.'

He added: 'I have a showroom so people waiting around could be brilliant.'

Chris said the former Top Gear presenter's plans for the pub sounded promising.

Clarkson has set out intentions to ban 'noisy TVs', encourage traditional pub games, serve only British produce, and hand out a free pint of Hawkstone to farmers.

Chris said: 'All that I have heard in the press sounds good.'

Fiona Dunbar, 50, owner of Cotswold Home Manager, was also supportive of Clarkson's endeavours.

She said: 'If he is taking over a business that is struggling, helping British farmers by stocking their produce and raising awareness of how hard it is for them, then go for it.' She added: 'The Cotswolds is full of traffic anyway.'

Fiona Dunbar, 50, owner of Cotswold Home Manager, was also supportive of Clarkson's endeavours

A road sign points the way to the Windmill restaurant in Asthall

St Nicholas Church in Asthall, the town where Clarkson is planning to open a new pub

A renovated Windmill will drive competition with The Three Horseshoes (pictured)

The quaint and only pub in Asthall (pictured), is owned by Daylesford andis part of Lady Bamford's Daylesford Stays collection

The quaint village of Asthall in the Cotswolds could soon be transformed by Clarkson's new venture

Tanya Hunt, 44, who works at the same company, added: 'He is brilliant for farming and is trying to help, not annoy. He is like marmite, and I love him.'

James, 60, who withheld his surname, also thought the pub's new ownership would benefit the area.

He said: 'It's obviously good for the village, but I am concerned about how busy it will get.'

James had moved to the area five years ago to find a corner of peace and quiet.

He added: 'It's a bit manic over (at Diddly Squat), but this will be a restaurant so hopefully it's a bit different.'

Clarkson hasn't won over everyone just yet. When asked for their reaction to Clarkson's purchase, one resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: 'Am I allowed to swear?

'I've never been keen on him to be honest.'

The pub is not expected to open until later this year to allow time for refurbishments, and a wedding booked in before the purchase, to take place.

A renovated Windmill will drive competition with The Three Horseshoes - the quaint and only pub in Asthall, which is owned by Daylesford.

The inn is part of Lady Bamford's Daylesford Stays collection.

Locals on what they think about Jeremy Clarkson's plans to open pub (2024)
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