Clarkson’s Farm Season 2 has landed on Prime Video, and we thought it was brilliant. However, some people living in the local area around Jeremy’s Diddly Squad farm have claimed that the show is misleading viewers.
Jeremy Clarkson is often in the headlines, and it tends to be for the wrong reasons. However, one thing that we can all agree on (I hope) is that the second season of Clarkson’s Farm was just wonderful.
The series has gone on to break UK viewership records in the United Kingdom. People really love the show and just cannot get enough of it. However, the people that live near Jeremy’s farm are claiming that the series has been misleading the show’s viewers.
Clarkson’s Farm Season 2 is misleading viewers say locals
If you’ve watched the second season, then you’ll know that a lot of time is spent on Clarkson’s battle with his local council in order to try and get planning permission for his restaurant. Fans of the show then took to social media to suggest that “pen-pushing” town hall officials “hate Clarkson: and had a vendetta against him.
However, the local council responded to these allegations and has defended its decision not to give Clarkson planning permission. They also claimed that the TV presenter-turned-farmer and his representatives hampered their own chances by refusing to work with its planners.
In a statement, the council said the latest season of the hit show “appears to have been misleading for viewers”, and claims it did not accurately represent what happened in the meetings. A spokesperson made a statement on the council’s behalf (via the Daily Mail Online). Here’s what they had to say:
The planning meeting shown in Clarkson’s Farm ran for well over an hour but was covered in a matter of minutes in the show. This meant that a lot of discussion from the meeting was missed, including a lot of very relevant legal planning advice and discussion that informed the decision taken by councillors.
The ‘dark skies’ argument that featured in the programme was a very small part of the overall discussion and was not the reason for refusal of planning permission. Officers and councillors have to make some difficult decisions based on national planning related laws and guidance alongside local policies.
Most applications have their pros and cons – as was obvious with the decisions for Diddly Squat Farm in Clarkson’s Farm. Indeed, the council recognised the benefits in the proposal to local farmers and the economy, but the proposals did not meet other planning requirements and ultimately, having heard the whole case as opposed to edited highlights, the councillors voted to refuse planning permission.
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They added that Clarkson failed to engage, which hampered the chances of resolving any disputes. Here’s what they added:
Usually for applications like this, a business would speak to us so we can support it ensuring an application is compliant with planning policy. We would have been happy to do that in this case, however, Diddly Squat Farm did not engage with us nor follow advice from our planners when pulling together the application.
Throughout series two of Clarkson’s Farm a lot of information was not included, or appears to have been misleading for viewers, leading to the narrative promoted by the series that the council has a vendetta against Mr Clarkson. A good example of this was the ‘refusal’ of the farm track where the show omitted the fact that Diddly Squat Farm had applied retrospectively for work that can only be applied for in advance meaning the council had no choice under law but to refuse it.
Also, it was suggested that West Oxfordshire District Council had put cones along the road outside the farm which was not the case. We would like to be clear we treat each application fairly and objectively regardless of the individuals involved with the submission. This is also the case with the Diddly Squat Farm.
The spokesperson also added that many planning applications from Diddly Squat farm have been approved over the years as they were ‘in line with national and local planning policy’.
Behind the scenes we have worked with the owners and planning agents of Diddly Squat Farm to try and reach a positive outcome where the business can operate within the planning laws and policies and help to support other local farmers.
However, we cannot force a business to work with us, and when that is the case we can only judge planning applications on what a business submits.
In response, a spokesperson for Clarkson’s Farm said the following:
Naturally not every element of filming makes the final edit of the programmes, however the episode covered both sides of the debate and the outcome of the meeting.
They also said no specific council was blamed for the traffic cones. Local Councillor Dean Temple, who voted against the planning application, said he has received abuse “from all over the world” after the scenes aired.
The Conservative Party Councillor, who was elected in 2021, has said attempts to explain his decision have fallen on deaf ears, and that he believes Clarkson was treated, as he put it, “very fairly”. Here’s what he had to say on the matter:
I’ve had abuse from all over the world. On the messages I have received I have tended to ignore those that are aggressive, nasty or contain outright allegations of ‘corruption’, ‘backhanders’ and ‘you just don’t like him’. Those that have asked genuine questions I have tried to engage with and offer my own point of view while explaining the finer points of planning law.
He added that Clarkson has “behaved in a very fair and honest way” and blamed his fans for the backlash. Here’s what he said:
[Clarkson] had an opportunity with his social media presence and an international show to use his influence to make life very difficult for us as councillors, but he has not. He has behaved like a gentleman and I personally consider him to have gone up in my estimation.
While the show, like most reality shows, borders the line between entertainment and factual, in this part he was fair and balanced. Sadly some of his fans haven’t followed his example, which is not his fault.
Interestingly enough, an online petition objecting to the decisions has so far amassed nearly 150,000 signatures. Moreover, while Clarkson has gotten a lot of criticism from locals in the village, he has also been praised by other farmers for shining a light on the difficulties that come with farming.
Among them is fellow celebrity farmer, Roger Daltrey, former frontman of The Who fame, who texted Clarkson, saying: “If we can’t overcome the opposition to diversification schemes, what hope is there for ordinary farmers?”
And Jamie Blackett, who farms in Dumfriesshire and has written several books about rural life, said that despite Clarkson’s “slapstick” approach, he “puts his finger on some of the most important challenges in the British countryside”. So, it sounds as though Clarkson is doing good work for once!
What do you make of this news? Are you looking forward to seeing more seasons of Clarkson’s Farm on Prime Video? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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