JEREMY Clarkson's neighbour has launched a legal battle against his plans to create a restaurant at his Diddly Squat Farm.

Painting restorer Hamish Dewar, who claims he was called a 'moron and busybody' by the presenter, says he fears his picturesque village is turning into a 'Jeremy Clarkson theme park' with neighbours afraid to speak out in case they appear in one of the journalist's columns in the Sunday Times.

The 65-year-old, who has lived in Chadlington for 28 years, has called in lawyers in a attempt to stop the former Top Gear host from transforming a lambing shed into a 60-seater restaurant.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Mr Dewar said: "The concern is [Chadlington] is an area of outstanding natural beauty. If he gets permission for this restaurant, the amount of traffic will have a significant impact on the village."

In the planning application to West Oxfordshire District Council, Mr Clarkson's team said Diddly Squat Farm needs to focus on new ways to bring in income due to the phasing out of the government's Basic Payment Scheme farming subsidy.

The 61-year-old broadcaster wants to convert his lambing shed to a 60-seat café/restaurant with an alcohol licence and add a 70-space car park.

The application reads: "It is reasonable for a farm business to investigate ways to replace this income with on-farm diversification to create new income streams or expand existing enterprises."

It has attracted 33 objections from members of the public so far, with concerns raised about traffic levels and impact on the area.

Mr Dewar said: "[Currently] there is very little to come and look at. But if there is a restaurant and a bar with an alcohol licence until 11pm at night, there is going to be many more cars coming into the village.

"It's a very beautiful area with beautiful views and this is completely out of character with the surrounding countryside."

He added: "Clarkson got permission to build there for agricultural use and now he wants to change it into a cafe and restaurant without giving it a fair chance to be used for agriculture."

Mr Clarkson and his representatives were contacted several times for comment.

Mr Dewar said he does not want it to appear as though the whole village is against Mr Clarkson, saying: "A lot of people have expressed their comments and complaints regarding the planning application on the council's website. But the legal side of it, I'm doing on my own."

The restoration expert said: "I think people are quite wary of expressing their opinions because Clarkson tends to respond in his column in the Sunday Times. I think that means people are quite reluctant to speak out."

He claimed: "He's written about me in the Sunday Times, calling me a busybody and a moron. He also described the chairman of the parish council in a very rude manner."

Since Clarkson's Farm first debuted on Amazon in June, the farm has attracted thousands of fans from far and wide. In June, police were called to manage the traffic chaos.

While Mr Clarkson has been criticised by some neighbours, he has been praised in the agricultural industry for his efforts to promote the sector.

Speaking at Cheltenham Literary Festival last month, author and farmer James Rebanks said Mr Clarkson has done 'more for farmers in one series of Clarkson's Farm than Countryfile has achieved in 30 years'.

According to property website Rightmove, searches for homes in Chadlington increased by 511 per cent in June - the month Clarkson's Farm first debuted - compared to the same period in 2020.

The presenter purchased the 1,000 acre working farm in 2008.