Please don’t list our cottage, begs owner

A WOMAN living in a crumbling cottage has pleaded with the Environment Minister not to list the property so she can improve it.

The property Firefly at Ouaisné
The property Firefly at Ouaisné

A WOMAN living in a crumbling cottage has pleaded with the Environment Minister not to list the property so she can improve it.

Niki Kramer, who lives at Firefly in Ouaisné, is hoping the property will not be given a grade four listing as requested by the States historic environment officers.

She appeared before Environment Minister Rob Duhamel at a Ministerial meeting on Friday to ask that the cottage remain unlisted saying that it had taken years to find the perfect area to live with her family.

‘It’s falling to pieces around us,’ she said. ‘It’s damp, it’s freezing cold and it’s crumbling. There’s nothing listable in it and there’s no justification for listing.

‘We’re living in a horrible place, but it could be very, very pretty if I could just do some work to it.’

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Comments for: "Please don’t list our cottage, begs owner"


So much for human rights. If a small minority pressure group want to impose their will they should be made to pay.


Agree, I find it incredible that someone can put a listing on a building that does not belong to them essentially enforcing the owners to spend thousands of pounds extra to maintain the place. If the States think the property is worth preserving they should stick their hands in their pockets and fund the extra costs incurred when renovating or maintaining a property such as this. I shudder to think that you can be forced to keep old single pane windows in a house when there are just as realistic looking modern, wooden double glazed units out there which unless you are right next to them you would never tell the difference. Why doesnt the National trust step in to help pay for the extra costs of preserving listed buildings, isnt that what they are all about?? Or is it about renovating properties for the rich to play with these days?


Completly agree with everything that you have said!


if people want to see just how badly a simple family cottage can be ruined by EXCESS i would direct them to above.

i own a listed building

i have difficulty keeping my large old property, but it is simply responsibility. why should i treat it as a dolls house and ruin it. the best houses are those that can just afford to keep the rain out.

col-et beats on

having survived this long, this fisherman's cottage needs to be saved.


I can fully symathise with lady. We are a young growing family. We have saved lirally years to be able to buy a home. We managed it. We did not buy the house because of character or its age but more because it was the only thing that we could afford. Its need everything doing to it but we were happy to take time and do it over time. We have not been told that it os going to be grade 4 listed meaning we can not chnage the windows. We can not afford timber windows and the house was not listed when we bought it else we would not have done. The already rotten windows are now going to get worse, damage the house because they are letting in water and are single glazed so going to cost a fortune to heat the house. THis is not helping teh environment or protecting the very house they want to protect as its going to go to ruins....We are so upset and angry!!!

SUPERSIZED dollshouses

if you want to see how an old family farm cottage has been ruined by excess-- go to mourier valley, st john side.


If the States fail to list this cottage in favor of allowing what I am sure will be serious building works and extensive extending or perhaps even demolition, they will fail the heritage severely. This little cottage should remain as it is, the size it is with no changes. It has been there for centuries and sits well in its grounds painting a pretty picture of the beautiful countryside. It is not fair to change the planning policy to suit individuals. Planning must keep their policies consistent.


I agree if its going to be knocked down or massive building work but just to change the windows??? if you can not chnage the windows and water gets in the very house you are wanting to protect get ruined anyway??? where is the sense in that?


Since when can the Environment Minister list something, put the shoe on the other foot, this home is belong to a human being, leave her do what she wants to her home and don't decide whether it should be listed we are in the 20th century, get a grip more so get a life...

St Clement Gardener

Are you kidding..... If the property is recommended to be listed, the decision should not based on the fact the family cant afford to maintain it!

According to the article as it suggests, Nikki has recently purchased this property and looking at the picture this would have been an extremely expensive purchase as it is located right next door but 1 to the slipway! If the property is old and has historic value, then it should be listed. Who the owner is, or their financial ability to upkeep it should have no relevance. Also, listing the property will in no-way prevent the owner from improving it! The owner is probably just thinking I want to put plastic windows in it!


I agree to a certain extent but not everyone can afford the timber windows and so the very houses that you are wanting to protect go to wrack and ruin anyway. Where is the sense in that? Yes timber windows look better and are orginal features. No good if they are rotting and letting water in!


Its always easy to support something if you are not paying for it or it doesnt effect you. I would be absolutely livid if it happened to me and I totally sympathise with anyone having a listing hoisted upon them. It is not fair if they cannot afford the extra money required to maintain it to a listed standard.


The rules have to be the same for everyone.

Old property has to be protected otherwise developers will knock everything down - Remember Portelet!

the thin wallet

listed building.

if owning one the should come with a allbatross to wear now and again.


the property has many important issues of character and style and therefore should be LISTED to protect it from the CURRENT OWNER'S WHIMS.


I don't thing wanting to be warm and dry is a whim??

The Jersey Bull

In a free society, no government bureaucrat should be allowed to list anybody's private property for whatever means without the owners consent and permission. Listing private property in this way is no more than an underhanded political tool designed in line with the UN's Agenda 21 OWG policy to confiscate, seize or enact control over private property.

The Environ Minister has so throughly let down this Island to the point where he is no longer fit to live amongst his own people. The first duty of any elected States Member is to protect our inherent rights, amongst which is (should be) the right to own private property free and clear of any government intervention or control.

For years this Deputy has sat in the States and done nothing but keep his head down solely in order to collect a salary from the public trough that he has clearly never earned. He has shown how totally inadequate and managerially incapable he is - the man is simply out to lunch and has to go!

Davey West

Agree Jersey Bull well put.

A home is probably the most expensive purchase of your life taking a quarter of a century of work with a 25 year mortgage. The a suit comes along and starts ordering what you can and cannot do with your own property.

Should you wish to purchase a grade one or two listed building then you know what to expect, that is reasonable, get in the Heritage crowd.

For the rest of Jerseys ordinary property, having a planning department full of it's own importance and led by a succession of weak Ministers they are listing every thing. Still it pays the wages when some work needs doing on the property.

Completely mad and immoral.

Devils advocado

Whilst I have some sympathy with the owners of listed properties, ms Kramer must of known when she bought the property that it was listed or potentially listed and paid a relevant price? No point complaining now!


What if it wasn't listed when she bought it?

Sounds like it to me. The building should be listed when the the property is sold to another party, not once someone bought it knowing it wasn't at the time.

Siobhan Gallichan

Isn't it possible to improve the property whilst keeping within the correct guidlines? Such as the correct material etc... Unless she wishes to start demolishing things


Yes if you have a lot of money.


Who gives the Environment Minister the right to say whether a property should be listed or not? She owns it and no doubt pays for it.... human right we do have any.... yet again put the shoe on the other foot if it was his property would he be so quick to decide it should be listed... we are in the 20th century move with the times....


Human rights in Jersey ? Pardon me ... you made me chock...

20 century may be, according to the calendar, but I don't thing we are only a hour behind the continent ...


Yes we are in the 20th century....anyone got any plans for the millennium? Should be a good night and by no way a massive disappointment......

Innocent bystander

This is the lowest level of listing that only effects the exterior of the building, so unless she is planning on building a conservatory on the building its unlikely to have an effect on the normal maintenance of the building.

What it will do is preserve the quaint cottage feel of the place.

The minister should approve the historic building officers recommendation.


It does have an effect on the cost of the maintenence. The windows for timber are very expensive and they stop you from putting in double glazed which is just stupid so heating bills go through the roof!

St Clement Gardener

Not true! You only lose around 10-20% of your heat through the windows. There are other areas you can improve like your walls and roof that will save you much much more money. Your heating bills will not go through the roof because of your windows!

Actually good quality wood windows with single glazing are not as bad thermally as you think. They perform much better than alu or crittal windows and are repairable for 100 years if maintained well-unlike PVC and metal that sometimes cant and have a relatively short life.


"Actually good quality wood windows with single glazing are not as bad thermally as you think."

Well, the reality is a bit different than you think.

Average single glazed windows have u-value of 5.0W/m2, where really bad old uPVC double glazed windows had u-value of 1.8W/m2.

By UK law (Building Regulations Part L(1A)) any installed window cannot have u-value higher than 1.8W/m2 - therefore you can't buy new windows worse than that as no one is manufacturing them.

Modern average double glazed windows featuring internal IR reflective coating and have u-value of 1.3 - 1.1W/m2.

The best in class double and triple glazed windows achieving u-value of 0.7 - 0.6W/m2

Single glazing windows are VERY bad. They allow 4 to 5 times more heat to be lost through them comparing to average double glazed ones.


We're not in the uk, of course.


People seem to think that if you list something you cannot improve it and that you have to leave it fall down around you.

Its not that at all. You can improve it and carry out works on the property BUT it has to be done within the restraints of the listing. Like replacing windows with the same style etc, or having the granite re-pointed with the same type of pointing etc, Its a pain in the rear, yes, but doesnt mean that it has to fall down. It just needs to improved sympathetically.


Yes if you have a bank account to cover this cost. Yes timber windows are 3 times more expensive. I take from your comment you do not have to worry about these things?

Devil's Advocate

Timber windows are not 3 times more expensive, I've just been getting quotes for my house. They look a lot better than plastic and last a lot longer than plastic. Maintenance and initial expense is higher, but long-term they're a better bet.

St Clement Gardener

Yes mr Devil you are correct. Maintenance cost will be higher than PVC but in this case where it is a bunglow, and the windows are stained it is very easy to maintain. The longrun will make savings for sure.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are a lot of advantages with plastic windows. Minimal maintenance being a plus.


We have just found out that we are in the same posotion as this lady. We are a young growing family and have saved for litrally years for our own home. We have finally managed to do it and bought a house (from the states may I add) last year. We were told that the house was not listed as we did not want it if, it were gpoing to be as we could not afford to replace the rotten windows for timber. They have now decided to grade 4 list it and we are devestated! we can not afford teh timber windows so we are going to be left with rotten drafting cold windows. Water will now get into the bare bones of the house and the windows just slowly rot away. Destroying the very features and houses they want to keep??? I just don;t understand it. Heating bills are now going to massive. Very very upsetting.

Jersey Boy

Hi Leanne, I moved into an old house 15 years ago where the wooden windows were literally falling apart at the joints, but i could't afford to replace them. I stripped them, filled them & screwed them shut in places & repainted. Then got large sheets of glass and screwed them to the inside using brackets and draught excluder. It worked really well for over 10 years. Don't let window companies tell you they need replacing, its not often true, and the old ones are usually better quality than weak plastic ones.


Don’t let window companies tell you they need replacing, its not often true, and the old ones are usually better quality than weak plastic ones.

You have clearly been on the Island for too long

Ever had Rehau windows? Jersey is shocking & when I read yor comment I feel a bit sorry for you. People could save so much money & have a decent living standard but the education just isn't there.

Jersey Boy

Not sure why I have been "on the island for too long"? What are Rehau windows? Maybe my education is deficient after all, I only have x2 degrees...


I find it interesting that buildings are still being added to the "list". If one examines the political history of this list through States documents, it will show that the States members have been convinced that expert after expert has examined totally and thoroughly the islands building stock and listed what needs protecting.

Granted there will always discoveries, but these should be through excavation or building works, where previously hidden features are now exposed.

The question Ms Kramer should ask " If all previous experts have deemed this property not worthy of listing, what has actually changed to the property that now makes it necessary to list."

Is it now that the list is being reconsidered because the current experts know more about the island than all other experts that have gone before? And if this so , then will the next set of experts do the same to the existing ones?

Grumpy Old Woman

I totally agree.

If some parts of this cottage could date back to 17th century then the States have only had 300 years to decide that it should be listed. If if wasn't considered worthy before, then it still isn't now.

On the other hand if the owner just wants to knock it down to replace it with another of those hideous floor to ceiling window jobs, then please go ahead and add it to the list!

Devil's Advocate

What's changed now is probably the fact that those that create lists have discovered that it's one of the few of its type left unmolested, and that if it's not listed then there will be none and that period of building history will be gone forever. An example would be the small wooden bungalows put up between the world wars - in Guernsey a lot have recently been demolished and replaced by a pair of modern semis, and it's getting to the point that there will be none left unless some are listed.

The Jersey Bull

In a free society, no government bureaucrat should be allowed to list anybody's private property for whatever means without the owners consent and permission. Listing private property in this way is no more than an underhanded political tool designed in line with the UN's Agenda 21 OWG policy to confiscate, seize or enact control over private property.

The first duty of any and all elected States Members is to protect our natural inherent rights, amongst which is (should be) the right to own private property free and clear of any government intervention or control.

The Environ Minister has so throughly let down this Island to the point where he is no longer fit to live amongst his own people. For years this Deputy has craftily sat in the States and done nothing, but keep his head down solely in order to collect a public salary that he has clearly never earned.

He stuck his head above the parapet to become a minister with such an unrealistic agenda that he has done nothing but demonstrate his total ineptitude and lack of managerial ability to hold ministerial office - this man, oblivious to the consequences upon the individual lives as a result of his off the wall decisions is simply out to lunch and has to go!

Let's hope the people of St. Saviour's will have the sense to rid the island of this political parasite at the next election.

The Thinker

I presume that by taking issue with you I am 'taking the bull by the horns'. However I have to take issue with what you say at the beginning of your submission. Heritage is important and some buildings that are in private hands do need to be preserved. If this is not done then rich and affluent people can simply buy and destroy our past and that is quite simply wrong.

To me, Mr Duhamel has been a Mr Nobody in the States Chamber for many years and I thought his appointment as minister reflected a belief that he was a 'safe pair of hands' following views to the contrary about Mr Cohen's approach to the Ministry.

To me he is a very mediocre politician - significantly better than some but not setting the world on fire. Which of course is the problem with Jersey politics at the present time. There are very very very few good, very good or excellent politicians in the House. Just a number of mediocre nobodies holding Office above the paid for no hoppers.

The one thing we do agree on is that politicians should be held to account for their term in office and if found wanting should be out the door.

The Jersey Bull

@ The Thinker.

You make a good point. I am certainly not against preserving heritage - just the opposite. I believe in preserving all of our historic buildings. Where were you and everyone else during the battle over Gorey Castle? I am however, against big government and bureaucratic bulling. We are supposed to be governed by consent, which also means we have the right to withhold such consent.

The cottage was unlisted when lawfully acquired and in a free society should not be listed without the express consent of the owner. So it should be up to those who are concerned with heritage to convince the owner into freely accepting whatever historical importance may or may not be attached to their property so that it might be protected in such a way - but certainly not force them into listing their property.

By allowing such un-consensual listing of private property, the owner is in effect forced into giving it up, via control and regulation, to the nanny government.

Governments have been employing such tactics (registering wells, farm subsidies, environmental issues etc) so as to eventually confiscate property and take its control out of private hands solely to advance and further collective control over every aspect of our lives - and I'm not up for it - thank you.


She was planning to knock it down i believe and build on the site. Not a god move for the countryside or its beauty around there. When one buys a quaint part of Jersey's heritage, it should be because they want to actually live there and protect it, not demolish it and build an eyesore!


A key question to ask the pro-listing brigade is “would you still list this property if you had to pay”? Their answer would be “no, there are hundreds of similar and better examples and it’s not that special anyway.”

The only reason we have so many thousands of listed buildings is because it costs the heritage lobby nothing and allows planning to charge exorbitant application fees every time a screw fall out the woodwork or a window needs replacing.

D De Jersey

Headline JEP in 2090:

"Planners Battle to keep traditional 'rabbit hutch' cottage from demolition"

Looking forward to reminiscing on my 152nd birthday. Ahh... Anyway..

These people aren't keepers of my heritage, or dolls in a doll house to be played with by the P&E dept, they are a family who have a right to a nice place to live in. It doesn't belong to me or Jersey, they own it.

If they want to knock it down and replace it with something else P&E should be there to make sure it's replaced with something inkeeping.

yesrej evol i

The listings are there to make sure properties are upgraded sympathetically and not pathetically i have owned a graded building and my wife and i worked with the listings officer and the end result was warm/ dry/efficient beautiful home that blended into its environment using traditional materials but most of all we were proud of our achievement..plastic windows are not half as good as timber..after a few years they disscolour and the door locks are flimsy and break easy..unless you are a plastic d/glazing salesman.. just saying..


This solidly built granite fisherman's cottage has stood for probably nearly two centuries in a prominent position at Quaisne; it's not about to fall down, will outlast more modern buildings and I cannot see that the limited listing proposed should be withdrawn just because the owner doesn't like the responsibility.All the more reason to list it.

R. Williams

Planning have got out of control with their control fetish. They should be able to legislate with regards to the safety of a building only.

In this day and age, a folly would never be passed for building, one of the categories that the heritage people wouldn't allow you to demolish now.


Most architects would agree with your argument that heritage laws should be abolished. Their enthusiasm for this stems from their clear vested interest in destroying old properties.

R. Williams

I wasn't suggesting that any old properties should be destroyed, just that there should be an allowance for improvements to allow them to be brought up to modern day standards for comfortable living. They were built originally for living in, not as a future museum piece.


Just to remind you, your words were, "They should be able to legislate with regards to the safety of a building only."

That means that old buildings would be able to be destroyed. Thank goodness for the heritage laws, laws which are to be found not just in Jersey, but also in every other civilised country.

Our laws are more permissive than some of those to be found elsewhere, no doubt to the disdain of the arhitects in those countries.

La Moye Squirrel

It is all very well listing buildings but what about listing areas of natural beauty like Portelet? Why, instead of listing a building, can't they put a clamp on the future development of the site. This would allow the current owner to preserve what they have and future purchasers would have to pay heed to the restrictions already in place. This would prevent monstrosities being built in areas of natural beauty, i.e. Portelet.

The Thinker

Old traditional buildings are very much part of our heritage and must be preserved. That said - what is 'preservation' - surely this is open to various forms of interpretation. In this day and age of modern efficient building materials surely there is some scope for compromise so that the features remain intact and comparable even though some materials may have been altered. In terms of compromise surely there can be a grading system set up whereby certain properties have to be exact in the use of materials whereas others are allowed a degree of flexibility. In terms of windows, double glazing can be fitted into wooden frames that appear every bit like the old single pane type but with much better insulation qualities.

Lastly it is essential for Planning to get on with this list and for it to be created 'once and for all' so property owners and future property owners know exactly what is what.


Someone from planning came on our property last year,spoke to my elderly parents stating they wanted to look around as the property was a granite farmhouse with outbuildings,no time to show her around so she looked on her own...if I'd known about this I'd of shown her the door ...we see now a potential listing on our buildings....which we don't want at all ,luckily windows were changed to plastic many years ago and if anything else in the future need doing listed or not...planning can take a running jump .....madness or this listing and they can stick it!!


Hopefully they wont list your home...question, can they come in and say to you "replace those plastic windows to something like timber to suit the building" if they do list after the work has been done?


let them try ....when we see what our neighbour got up to and was allowed I think theye owe us!!

Misinformed person

A chap from planning came round to me and I said that he might of to come back later- big fireplace with boot scraper-big door knocker from Edwardian days and brass hingers....we don't want a plastic one....luckily walls replaced with breeze blocks many years ago so can take running jump.......madness or this listing leaning drains they can stick it!!


We looked to buy an old C17 jersey cottage in Rue des Friquettes and were told by planners we could extend but it had to be lower that the existing roofline and to keep the character of the original cottage. Our wish for a 2 storey extension was met with the phrase (I quote) "absolutely not, the tail wagging the dog" We decided not to go ahead. Imagine our shock to see the plans passed by planning last year - a 2 storey wrap around extension and the original building being raised one storey!


Did you enquire why, either at the time or when this possible unreasonable behaviour came to light?

That would have been my first point of call. I would have written to the Director of Planning, although I do appreciate that you would probably have received a teflon, meaningless letter.

I can also imagine that any attempt to make contact with the Planning minister or one of his senior officers would have been met with polite obstruction. None of this, of course, applies to the favoured development companies, who seem to be granted an audience at will.

The one thing that does surprise slightly is your shock at the turn of events. Nothing over here tends to be shocking any more. The approach of the various departments of the states of Jersey seems to be that they will get away with what they can unless and until someone makes a legal challenge- sometimes it seems that a given department may be aware of some illegality but that it will still proceed in the hope that no-one will litigate.

It is fairly easy to take such a risk when a department has the benefit of a public lawyers' department and is therefore immune from the stress of going to law and the legal costs which would have to be paid by any member of the public who took them to court.