NOW is the time to be pressing ahead with plans for a permanent flood barrier at Beales Corner.

That's the feeling among neighbours in Bewdley who fear the dry weather during the summer months will cause people to forget about the devastation caused to flood-hit families twice in the last year - and the risk of the same thing happening again.

But with plans for a new flood wall not expected to be executed until 2024, residents are hoping a new documentary being released about the Bewdley floods will help to keep attentions focussed on the issue.

Paul Smith's family have been living in temporary accommodation since March last year after their home was filled with 12 inches of floodwater.

The new film, entitled Flooded: The Forgotten Crisis, follows the family's journey through two floods, a visit from the Prime Minister, and the Covid pandemic.

Father-of-four Paul, 51, said: "Now, when the river is low, that's exactly when we need the help and need those decisions made.

"When the river is high and everyone is under threat, the focus is on closing roads and coping with the damage. When the river is low, people lose interest and they forget. It's not so important. But it's now that we need to be keeping the profile of the flooding high.

"It shouldn't take four years to get a permanent solution, it's ridiculous. That's another three winters of flooding in the meantime.

"That's the reason I agreed to do the documentary, we need to keep the issue of flooding in Bewdley on people's minds."

A first-glimpse trailer of the new documentary has just been released, featuring shocking footage showing the true extent of the floods, and highlighting the stark contrast between the experiences of residents on either side of the River Severn.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Paul Smith, his wife Tracey and their children have been in temporary accommodation since the floods hit last yearPaul Smith, his wife Tracey and their children have been in temporary accommodation since the floods hit last year

Paul said: "I watched the trailer and it did make me step back and think, wow, that's happened to us.

"When you live through it, you take it all in your stride, but when you step back and see it played to you like that, it's like watching an action movie."

Ben Keen, producer and director at Mockingbird Film Co', which made the documentary, said: "When the floods happened in the immediate aftermath of Storm Dennis, we didn't have a masterplan for it, we just went down there and started filming.

"We've got quite close to Paul's family and stayed close to them all year.

"It's been quite interesting telling the story of two sides of the town - how one side of the town has had millions of pounds spent on flood defences, whilst the other side has been left with inadequate temporary flood barriers.

"There's so much to this story and we're still filming - it's an ever-evolving situation.

"We stay close to a particular family in the immediate aftermath and through the following year with Prime Minister visits, unexpected pandemics, hopeless promises, endless temporary accommodation and an uncertain future."

Ben and co-director and producer Ross Syner expect the hour-long documentary to be finished and either aired on television or self-released later this year. For more information on the film release, search Mockingbird Film Co on social media.

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Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier said the Environment Agency was considering 11 variations of plans for a permanent flood barrier, similar to that seen in Upton-on-Severn, but said it was unlikely the wall would be built any sooner than 2024.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We continue to assure residents that if a flood event should occur in the foreseeable future, we will be there to support them with their individual resilience, and will do everything we are operationally able to support.

"This might include assisting with property flood resilience installation or with pumping.”

The agency said the government will assess its proposal once it is fully developed.