Dr Matthew Wargent

British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Matthew Wargent

Dr Matthew Wargent

Real Estate & Planning
EM 168, Whiteknights Campus
+44 (0) 118 378 5415



Matthew joined the department on a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship in September 2018. Prior to this he held research posts in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield and the Bartlett, University College London.

In 2017, Matthew obtained his PhD from the University of Sheffield, drawing on the insights of agonistic pluralism this explored the role of conflict in democracy through an interpretive policy analysis of neighbourhood planning. Matthew’s various publications in this area can be found alongside other useful contributions on the Crowd-sourced Neighbourhood Planning Bibliography.

Matthew’s current research continues his interest in planning and local governance, in particular the shifting roles and influence of private sector actors in decision-making within local government.


  • PhD Sociology, University of Sheffield, 2017
  • MA Sociology and Management (Dist.), University of Essex, 2012
  • BA (Hons) Social Policy and Sociology (1:1), University of Sheffield, 2011


Governance; planning and local government; private sector in planning; localism; democratic participation; neighbourhood planning.

Recent conference papers

‘Local governance and the private sector: the role of consultants in the English planning system’, paper presented to Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, Washington D.C., 3-7 April 2019.


View a full list of Dr Matthew Wargent's publications

Key Publications

Parker, G., Salter, K. and Wargent, M. (2019) Neighbourhood planning in practice, London, Lund Humphries. ISBN 978-1848222830.

Parker, G., Street, E. and Wargent, M. (2018) ‘The rise of the private sector in fragmentary planning in England’, Planning Theory & Practice, 19(5): 734-750. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649357.2018.1532529

Wargent, M. and Parker, G. (2018) ‘Re-imagining neighbourhood governance: the future of neighbourhood planning in England’, Town Planning Review, 89(4): 379-402. https://doi.org/10.3828/tpr.2018.23.

Parker, G., Street, E. and Wargent, M. (2018) ‘Advocates, advisors and scrutineers: the technocracies of private sector planning in England’, in Raco, M. and Savini, F. (eds.) Planning and Knowledge: How New Forms of Technocracy are Shaping Contemporary Cities, Bristol, Policy Press. ISBN 978-1447345268.

Parker, G., Lynn, T. and Wargent, M. (2017) ‘Contestation and conservatism in neighbourhood planning in England: reconciling agonism and collaboration?’, Planning Theory & Practice, 18(3): 446-465. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649357.2017.1316514.

Parker, G., Lynn, T. and Wargent, M. (2015) ‘Sticking to the script? The co-production of neighbourhood planning in England’, Town Planning Review, 86(5): 519-536. https://doi.org/10.3828/tpr.2015.31.

Parker, G., Lynn, T. and Wargent, M. (2014) User experience of neighbourhood planning in England, London, Locality.