A NEW system to roll out ‘smart’ electricity and gas meters – backed by the government – could be about to benefit a non-league football club in Pendle.

Electronic communications masts are required for the Arqiv’a network, to allow information about household energy usage to be remotely accessed.

And one was sought for Colne FC’s Holt House ground, off Harrison Drive, to cover the town and surrounding areas.

Bosses say that they had considered other sites locally – including Colne Precinct, Hanover and King Street works, the town’s market hall, Great House Farm and Tennyson Road playing fields – but none could provide the required clearance of 11 metres or more.

If installed at the Holt House ground, according to the company, the 15-metre mast could be situated in line with 12-metre-high floodlights, lessening the visual impact.

County highways officials believed that the mast’s installation was ‘unlikely to have a significant impact’ on the roads network.

Town councillors had also raised no objection – but issued a plea that such masts should be ‘disguised’ so they were in-keeping with the surroundings.

Members of the Colne area committee, which approved the scheme, were also informed that the mast would be at least 100 metres from the nearest homes on Birtwistle Avenue and so it was unlikely to be ‘overbearing’ for neighbours.

Council leader Coun Joe Cooney, who sits on the area committee, said: “The smart meter receiver application approved for the Colne FC site will mean additional income for the football club.”