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Boost For British Farmers Inspired by Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson’s series on Amazon Prime has shone a light on the issues faced by farmers when applying for planning permission and attracted support from the Prime Minister.

Jeremy Clarkson and his farmhand, Kaleb Cooper
Jeremy Clarkson and his farmhand, Kaleb Cooper, in 'Clarkson's Farm' | Amazon Prime Video

Farmers are now allowed to convert disused agricultural buildings into homes and shops without planning permission under a new “Clarkson’s clause” - enabling farmers to more easily diversify their businesses by putting old buildings to new uses.

The reforms are inspired by Jeremy Clarkson’s battles with West Oxfordshire district council, as featured on his Amazon Prime show: Clarkson's Farm.

In the show, the former Top Gear presenter documents his struggles against local government bureaucracy as he tries to convert disused outbuildings on his 1,000-acre Cotswolds farm into a restaurant and shop. The show also revealed to its millions of viewers how to difficult it is to make money out of farming, so "Clarkson's Clause" will enable many farmers - who may be thinking of giving up - the opportunity to achieve a better standard of living, invest in their agricultural endeavours, and realise a better level of financial security.

Season 3 of Clarkson's Farm has just broken Amazon Prime Video's UK ratings record - it was streamed by 5.1 million viewers over seven days earlier this month, according to Barb, the UK's official audience research group. Even across the Pond in the USA, Parrot Analytics has found that the audience demand for Clarkson's Farm is 1.9 times the demand of the average TV series in the US in the last 30 days.

Lee Rowley, the planning minister, said: “Farmers are the lifeblood of communities, and these changes give them the freedom to grow their businesses and plan for their futures. This is all part of our long-term plan for housing to deliver more homes for rural communities and reform the planning system, removing unnecessary barriers to development.”


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