Legal and Project Development Team

Legal and Project Development Team

Find out about our L&PDT

L&PDT is our Legal and Project Development Team, based at The Wharf House at Over Canal Basin. It brings together the expertise needed to develop the exciting new key projects on which the Trust is focusing and is directly funded by The Wharf House.

We are pleased to able to call on pro-bono or heavily discounted support from a number of sources. The team is regularly in liaison with landowners, developers, local authorities and commercial partners as to attract funding and to maximise project delivery.

The primary focus of the L&PDT is the delivery of the long term strategic goals of the Canal Trust and the fundamental sustainability of the Waterway, not only financially, but with community, charity, and business support. This has led to the L&PDT leading on a number of projects and being a key delivery partner on others. The work undertaken is diverse including:

Work undertaken

  • Liaising with Statutory Bodies, developers, and land owners for access and rights over the canal
  • Negotiations for acquiring sites along the length of the canal, such as Kymin East, Vineyard Hill, Dymock, Moat Farm, Newent Station.
  • Administration of the property portfolio from leases to sales, property rental to access arrangements on a variety of sites from industrial units to private tenants.
  • Securing the restoration work carried out on Llanthony footbridge by the Government Pipelines Agency and devolving of legal liability to them.
  • Overseeing all legal contracts and arrangements for the Trust.
  • Design and delivery of the Aylestone Park Weir to give a strategic surplus water discharge facility for the City of Hereford
  • Design and delivery of Mill Barn alongside Over Basin to act as a maintenance base and office space for the Trust, a facility for volunteers and other groups and a hub for the L&PDT.
  • Delivery of Llanthony Hydro scheme, a multi million pound project which will not only provide clean power, but will also link Canal to the national network. This will assist navigation into Gloucester Docks whilst at the same time providing flood relief and reduced siltation in the river above the weirs and the docks. This will be a long term boost to waterways tourism.
  • Flood relief and navigation enhancement schemes along the length of the canal.

The Team

The team is constantly evolving and expanding to help us make major strides towards delivering the next projects. Headed in a voluntary capacity by David Penny, Commercial & Technical Director of the Canal Trust, the team includes solicitors, civil engineers, and quantity surveyors working in both paid and voluntary capacities.

David’s background includes some 20 years creating and delivering the Strategic Vision for the Canal Trust which has helped make it one of the most highly respected in the Country for its vision to be financially independent and secure a return from those who benefit. David was also a Partner for 8 years in Penny Environmental and Planning working on European scale civil engineering projects, and matters of National and European precedents in planning and environmental law. This provides a diverse experience covering legal, negotiation, project development and management, and major Civil’s work, and an understanding of environmental and technical aspects of potential projects and developments

Dr Caroline Buffery joined the team as Legal Officer in April 2016. With an academic background in law, including a Masters Degree in Environmental and Commercial Law, and a PhD in Legal Geography, Caroline oversees all legal administration from leases to land transactions, fishing licences to boat sales- anything legal is dropped on her desk! She is also the Project Manager for the Leadon and Llanthony Hydro schemes.

Thomas Ashworth joined the team in a voluntary capacity following a presentation by David to members of the Institution of Civil Engineers in Gloucestershire on the diverse work in hand and the commercial strategy of the L&PDT.  As a Civil Engineer he is playing a crucial role in helping to take projects forward, and we are also very pleased to have the assistance of his employer Tony Gee & Partners. They have an enviable reputation worldwide including such appropriate projects as the Falkirk Wheel, and we are very grateful for their ‘back office’ support in providing resources and technical expertise to assist Thomas in providing this crucial expertise to the H&G Canal Trust.

Colm Coyle is an experienced architect with whom we have worked on a number of projects in a professional capacity and developed a most understanding relationship with (he tolerates David’s red ink better than could ever be expected!]) and has joined the team in a voluntary capacity to help deliver Mill Barn

Hannah Davies is the contact for social media, press, events and marketing, ensuring that all branches of the Wharf House Group and the Canal Trust remain co-ordinated and focused on delivering a sustainable canal.


We welcome speculative applications from those who feel that they could assist in our work within L&PDT, in a voluntary, reduced cost or paid capacity. We are looking for people with a various skills and experience who have enthusiasm and an interest in the work of the H&GCT. Graduates and interns who feel that they could benefit from joining the team can also send a CV and a covering letter.

Please email l&

We currently specifically have vacancies for:

  1. A legal assistant, preferably with some practical experience in land law.
  2. A fundraising and  marketing assistant.
  3. A part-time Clerk of Works to oversee the growing number of projects on site undertaken both by volunteers and contractors.

We are very pleased to have the support of Peel Group (owners of Gloucester Quays) who have to sponsored our H&G Canal Festival at Over, as well as contributing towards the employment costs of our L&PDT.