The father of a 12-year-old boy who died from a hidden heart condition has been left "dismayed" after a council turned down plans to install defibrillators, describing the units housing them as "street clutter".

Last month, the council rejected plans put forward by JCDecaux to put communication hubs at Haymarket Street and outside the Rock and Mill Gate shopping centres.

The units would offer free calls to landlines, free Wi-Fi, a 32-inch touch screen with access to local web-pages, a publicly accessible defibrillator and charging ports along with advertising screens.

In its decision to turn down the plans the council said that although the defibrillators in the public realm "would represent a public benefit", their positioning within a much larger unit would mean that benefit "would not outweigh the harm identified to the character and appearance of the conservation area".

The Oliver King Foundation has helped install around 6,000 defibrillators alongside awareness training courses about the equipment.

They estimate that around 71 lives have been saved by defibrillators donated by the foundation.

The foundation was set up in 2012 following the death of 12-year-old Oliver King who died from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), a hidden heart condition.

Oliver attended King David High School in Liverpool and suffered a cardiac arrest whilst taking part in a swimming race.

The decision notice from the council stated that the hubs would lead to the "creation of additional street clutter for an installation that primarily consists of an advertisement screen".

Mark King, Oliver’s dad and founder of The Oliver King Foundation, said: “I am dismayed by the Bury Council decision not to install public defibrillators in the town centre.

“The Bury Council conservation officer believes ‘public benefit would not outweigh the harm identified to the character and appearance’ of the proposed installation area.

“I find this attitude incredibly concerning and fundamentally naive.

“More than 20 people die from SADS every week.

“Do human lives – and many SADS victims are young people – count for less than how an area looks aesthetically?

“I would urge the council to seriously reconsider this stance on behalf of the Bury public and I invite them to speak with The Oliver King Foundation to find out more about why public defibrillators are vital, life-saving pieces of equipment.”

A council spokesman said: “Each application has to be treated on their own individual merits and in this instance the siting was considered to be inappropriate.

“As the report says, the defibs are only a very small part of a much bigger structure.

“The structure is therefore considered to be inappropriate.

“The council wouldn’t have an objection to siting defibs in themselves, but the issue with these are clearly reported in our assessments.”