The BPF has unveiled proposals to improve the British town planning system, which has been criticised as complex and expensive.

The trade body for landlords, investors and agents yesterday launched the Planning Manifesto, with key proposals including that developers contribute resources to help local authorities deal with planning applications, and councillors receive formal training to enable them to take more informed decisions.

At present, only councils are allowed to contribute resources because of fears over issues of probity, and councillors receive no mandatory training.

Other suggested measures include reducing the information required to support planning applications, smaller applications being dealt with by planning 'technicians' – leaving qualified planners free for major schemes in communities – and councils outsourcing work to private consultants or forming partnerships.

Daily Telegraph