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Christopher Maidment

Lecturer of Planning

MSc Spatial Planning and Development Director

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  • Plan-making, 
  • The relationship between theory and practice, 
  • Professionalism in planning


HBS 123, Whiteknights Campus

Chris joined Real Estate & Planning in August 2019 as a Lecturer in Planning, with research interests in plan-making and professionalism. Chris is a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), having previously worked at Anglia Ruskin University and as a Planning Policy Officer for Bassetlaw District Council.

Prior to this, Chris studied for his PhD at the University of Sheffield. His PhD draws on different ways in which the ‘public interest’ can be understood, and how these variations are present in plan-making. The fieldwork explored case studies of spatial plan-making in Central Lincolnshire and the Peak District National Park, using multiple qualitative methods.

At the core of Chris’ research interests is understanding the relationship between normative theories of planning and the practice environment; both how planning theory should shape practice and how practice should influence the development of theory. Chris has explored this link through research that has ranged from understanding the role played by civic societies in planning, to decision-making around sustainable drainage systems, to the influence of planning organisations and their institutional arrangements on effective practice.

Chris also holds a number of external roles, maintaining active links with planning practice and the wider planning education community:

  • Member of the RTPI South East Regional Activities Committee
  • Judge for the RTPI South East Awards for Planning Excellence
  • Chair, Heriot-Watt University RTPI Partnership Board
  • Country Representative and Excellence in Education Board Member, Association of European Schools of Planning
  • External Examiner, University of Brighton and Cardiff University
  • Member, QAA Subject Benchmark Statement Advisory Group for Town & Country Planning
  • Member, ARL International Working Group; ‘Beyond the process – Finding common ground for a discussion on planning’s substantial foundation’.


  • PhD Town & Regional Planning (September 2011–March 2016), The University of Sheffield. Thesis: Planning in the Public Interest? Looking for the ‘public interest’ in English plan-making
  • MA Town & Regional Planning (September 2010–September 2011), The University of Sheffield
  • BA (Hons) Geography & Planning with Employment Experience (September 2006–July 2010), The University of Sheffield
  • Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI, since June 2017)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Town & Country Planning Association

Current PhD Students

Gemma Bell: How to make urban environments “runnable” for everyone. First supervisor

JingHeng Huang: Understanding management of diversity in Singapore from a bottom-up perspective. Second supervisor

Reference: Parker, G. and Maidment, C. (2024) In defence of good planning: planning practice, the learned profession and unifying action through reflexive lifelong learning. Town Planning Review, 95 (2). pp. 1-9. ISSN 1478-341X doi:
Henley faculty authors:
Gavin Parker - Christopher Maidment
Reference: Maidment, C. and Parker, G. (2023) An understanding gap? Planning education in a time of change: a response to Taylor and Close. Town Planning Review, 94 (3). pp. 255-270. ISSN 1478-341X doi:
Henley faculty authors:
Christopher Maidment - Gavin Parker
Reference: Maidment, C. and Chettiparamb, A. , (2022) Civic societies and the planning process: exploring the role of local civic societies in the English planning system. Report. Henley Business School, Reading. pp65.
Henley faculty authors:
Christopher Maidment - Angelique Chettiparamb
Reference: Maidment, Christopher and Parker, Gavin (2022) An understanding gap? Planning education in a time of change: a response to Taylor and Close. Town Planning Review. ISSN 1478-341X (In Press)
Henley faculty authors:
Christopher Maidment - Gavin Parker
Reference: Maidment, C. (2021) Timber beds, protests & publics: conflicting meanings of the public interest on Devonshire Street, Sheffield. Town Planning Review, 92 (4). pp. 587-614. ISSN 1478-341X doi:
Henley faculty authors:
Christopher Maidment
Reference: McClymont, K., Cunha, D. G. F., Maidment, C. , Ashagre, B., Vasconcelos, A. F., de Macedo, M. B., dos Santos, M. F. N., Gomes Júnior, M. N., Mendiondo, E. M., Barbassa, A. P., Rajendran, L. and Imani, M. (2020) Towards urban resilience through sustainable drainage systems: a multi-objective optimisation problem. Journal of Environmental Management, 275. 111173. ISSN 0301-4797 doi:
Henley faculty authors:
Christopher Maidment
Reference: Parker, G. , Wargent, M. , Linovski, O., Schoneboom, A., Gunn, S., Slade, D., Odeleye, N.-D., Maidment, C. , Shepherd, E. , Doak, J. , Elliot, T., Nicholls, V. , Street, E. , Dobson, M. , Platts, S. and Tasan-Kok, T. (2020) The future of the planning profession. Planning Theory & Practice, 21 (3). pp. 453-480. ISSN 1464-9357 doi:
Henley faculty authors:
Gavin Parker - Christopher Maidment - Emma Street - Mark Dobson
Reference: Murtagh, N., Odeleye, N.-D. and Maidment, C. (2019) Do town planners in England feel a professional responsibility for a climate-resilient built environment? In: SBE19 - Emerging Concepts for Sustainable Built Environment, 22-24 May 2019, Helsinki, Finland.
Henley faculty authors:
Christopher Maidment
Reference: Murtagh, N., Odeleye, N.-D. and Maidment, C. (2019) Identities as enabling conditions of sustainability practices in urban planning: a critical realist exploration with planners in England. Urban Planning, 4 (4). pp. 86-97. ISSN 2183-7635 doi:
Henley faculty authors:
Christopher Maidment
Reference: Maidment, C. (2016) In the public interest? Planning in the Peak District National Park. Planning Theory, 15 (4). pp. 366-385. ISSN 1741-3052 doi:
Henley faculty authors:
Christopher Maidment

Planning Law and Practice

This module explores the operation of the UK planning system in practice, and its inter-relationship with real estate development processes. It examines the role and implementation of policy and strategy...

Module code: RE2PLP

Real Estate Development and Planning Law

This module provides a course of study that focuses on the property development process. ...

Module code: REMP30

Development Planning Projects

The module integrates a range of knowledge and skills important for practicing planners and puts them into practice through group project study exercises, reports and presentations....

Module code: REMP31

Most recent news & media

Civic Societies and the Planning Process: Exploring the role of local civic societies in the English planning system

March 2021 – Present

Funded by the David Robbins Fund and RREF Seed Funding, this project aims to understand how civic societies in England currently work with the planning system. This project centred on an extensive survey of how civic societies engage in the planning process, supplemented by in-depth work with a diverse range of carefully selected societies. This included a set of virtual focus groups making use of 3D imagery, site visits and a participatory video workshop. The data collected from the work has underpinned a series of reports and presentations, including to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Civic Societies and the Department for Levelling Up, Homes & Communities’ internal seminar series.

Generating a Culture of Effective Planning: Exploring the Role of Organisational Arrangements

January 2020 – Present

Funded by the David Robbins Fund, this research will explore how the day-to-day agency of planners is influenced by the practical arrangements of the organisations they work within, for example around recruitment, hierarchy and geographical arrangements. The research will take the form of a series of interviews. The proposed participants are to be drawn from a range of organisational arrangements that are distinctive from typical local planning authorities.

Brandia: Developing a Resilience Informed Decision Making Framework for Sustainable Drainage Systems

October 2018 – March 2020

Brandia aims to develop a framework to encourage the incorporation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in urban planning. Working with partners in Brazil, India and the UK, the RIDMF is intended to be flexible to all three contexts, with a particular focus on embedding resilience and quality of life as decision-making criteria. My role has been to bring an understanding of the social and political context; both thinking about how quality of life can be embedded in the framework, and how the framework can be best designed to influence decision-making at multiple levels.

Towards a Transformative Practice Framework: Planners, Professional Agency & Sustainable Urbanism

March 2018 – December 2019

The aim of this project was to evaluate UK planners’ agency in transforming policy on sustainable design and construction and the lessons this offers for reclaiming pro-active practices for future cities. The team has completed 41 semi-structured interviews with a range of mid-career (more than 7 years’ experience) and ‘legacy’ planners (more than 20 years’ experience), mainly working in the public sector. Interview themes included professional capacity, sustainability and the role of the National Planning Policy Framework.