EU Measurement Directive effects local amenities: Saffron Walden's historic mile long Maze under thr

PUBLISHED: 09:09 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 22:13 31 May 2010

ROLLED out quietly under a blizzard of electoral chatter, a little known EU directive comes into force over the next few months. This will effect Saffron Walden s historic Maze is that it can no longer be classified as one mile in length.

ROLLED out quietly under a blizzard of electoral chatter, a little known EU directive comes into force over the next few months.

This will effect Saffron Walden's historic Maze is that it can no longer be classified as one mile in length. It must shortened or extended by a suitable number of bricks to ensure it measures to an exact number of metres in length.

Known as Directive 98/37EZ European Standardisation Policy (ESP), this latest action plan refers to the Commission's Unification Council Conclusions on standardisation of October 27, 2008 with the intention of full implement of the policy for Common European Measurements by the end of July 2010.

The main area of contention for local people is hidden in the regulations regarded as the most important legal act concerning European standardisation legislation in recent years.

In order to avoid misunderstandings caused by deferring national standards in the different member states of the EU, it stipulates a mutual obligation and a procedure to inform both the other member states and the Commission in advance when these new standards are adopted.

In addition, the Directive determines in its annexes I and II which standard organisations both at European level and national level are the "recognised" standards bodies within the EU. It is these bodies that will undertake the new certification of amenities.

It is these bodies are obliged to consult locally and householders will be leafleted for their opinion. What they will be asked is would they prefer the Maze to be shortened or lengthened to make it compliant to the new EU regulations.

At least one town councilor when asked indicated that lengthening it would be the preferred option.

Deputy mayor Bob Eastham said "I am particularly concerned that by reducing the length of the maze, we would be diminishing in importance, one of our rare heritage treasures.

"For this reason, I would be in favour of an extension.

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