The 61-year-old TV presenter convened a meeting with local people at Chadlington Memorial Hall after there was “gossip” in the village about the future of the Diddly Squat farm shop.
At the hour-long meeting, which was open and only open to residents in the nearby village of Chadlington, residents said Clarkson expected half the shed to be a kitchen and half to be a restaurant area.
He added that it would be “cheaper” than nearby restaurants, which means people would pay about 60 euros for a meal for two.
Apparently, Clarkson also told residents he hoped to curb the number of people visiting the store daily; has seen shoppers travel around the country and queue for hours to buy groceries such as candles, fresh milk and cheese.
He told the PA news agency: “Everything is subject to planning, so you still can’t promise anything, but you hope to change the lamb shed in a restaurant. We thought it would be for 150 (people) but you actually have 60 seats, and you’re trying control the number of people coming to the farm store in the future.
“It’s very expensive to sell your products, so you want to sell everything you can in the farm shop and in the restaurant.
“As expected, there were people who had very strong views anyway, people who had negative views did so more strongly. He gave his opinions for the future and that’s all we can really expect.”
It was great, it was very entertaining. A lot of people won completely
Moore added, “I’m nice. No one could dream it was such a successful series. I could never have predicted it. I think it will be good as long as it’s under control; I don’t want to stifle success.”
His teammate Maggie Jackman said, “It went really well, it was very entertaining. A lot of people won out completely.
“When we got to valid points about short- and long-term solutions, that’s when some very sensible ideas came up. So we just have to see the space.
“I’m waiting to see if he puts words into action. Actions speak louder than words, so let’s see how it goes. “
Another resident told PA, “There were two or three local people who were very negative, but I had the feeling that most were open to this project.”
Arriving at the crowded town hall meeting, Clarkson was questioned about what he thought might happen.
I thought the best thing I can do is go down and say, “This is what we’re doing,” and then they don’t talk gossip anymore.
He told reporters, “Who knows? I’m here to listen. The gossip spreads in the villages and they don’t know what we’re doing, so I thought the best thing I can do is go down and say, ‘This is what we’re doing.’ , and then they are no longer gossip.
“Someone gave me my finger on entering.”
Asked about the traffic caused by customers to his popular farm shop, he joked, “Hey, listen, the village has created a bit of a traffic jam tonight.”
He later declined to comment on how the meeting went when he left in his Land Rover Range Rover Vogue.
Chadlington Parish Council President Zoe Townsend declined to comment.
Clarkson’s business is the subject of an Amazon Studios series called Clarkson’s Farm.
He bought the farm in 2008 and it was run by a villager, but when he retired in 2019, the TV presenter decided to see if he could run it himself.
The series earned praise for its beautiful cinematography along with the adorable group of staff who weren’t afraid to tell Clarkson when he was being useless.
It represented the difficulties faced by farm workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.