Clarkson to get 'excellent view' of recycling depot


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It's a development that will be savoured by environmentalists. Jeremy Clarkson, patron saint of petrol heads and serial denouncer of "eco-mentalists", can look forward to a recycling depot being built within a Lamborghini Murcielago's braking distance of his country home.

For the growing band critics of the so-called Chipping Norton set – the Cotswold hub of David Cameron, Rebekah Brooks and Elisabeth Murdoch, as well as the Top Gear presenter and his family – there is a second, equally delicious twist. The man behind the campaign to move the existing plant from near the village of Dean, where the Camerons live, to a site next door to the Clarksons is Lord Chadlington, a friend of Mr Cameron and president of the West Oxfordshire Conservative Association.

Clarkson, who owns a sprawling Edwardian pile with an excellent view of the proposed site, feels powerless to stop the development. "Normally, this is the sort of issue I would raise with my MP. Unfortunately my MP is David Cameron and, at present, the town's tip is right next to his back garden. I think therefore he won't be very sympathetic."

Dean Pit, where residents queue each weekend to recycle their household waste, is to close at the end of September. Were the new recycling plant not built near Chateau Clarkson, another proposed site was close to the home of the outgoing News International chief executive Ms Brooks. In a rare piece of good news for her, though, that site was rejected by West Oxfordshire District Council.

Lord Chadlington, who takes his noble title from the nearby Oxfordshire village where he lives, and is better known as Peter Selwyn Gummer, founder of the PR giant Brunswick, is said to have paid for a study by a group of independent experts looking at alternatives to the current site.

Councillor David Williams, group leader of the Oxfordshire Green Party, cackled: "It's got to go somewhere and I couldn't think of a better person than Jeremy Clarkson."