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Images released of proposed Bewdley flood defences which aim to keep roads open

Concept images have been released of planned flood defences which will be set up in Bewdley.

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Bewdley was badly hit by floods earlier this year

Environment Agency officers held a consultation on the project in October ahead of official plans being submitted.

Last year £6.2 million of funding was announced for the left bank of Bewdley for the Environment Agency to work with partners and the community to develop a permanent scheme in the Beales Corner area, due to be completed by 2024.

The work will reduce flood risk for homes and businesses in the Beales Corner aream which will keep the main Kidderminster and Stourport roads into the town open when the river bursts its banks.

Temporary barriers will be replaced with a permanent scheme that will operate to a "higher standard" and with "greater resilience".

Beales Corner artist impression

Anthony Perry, an Environment Agency operations manager for the West Midlands, said: "We have been assessing technical options, but any permanent defences are likely to follow a similar line to the temporary barriers, and our aim is to achieve the same level of flood protection as the Severnside Flood Scheme on the opposite bank of the river.

"There are several issues to work through, such as securing planning approval, historic consents and managing the large number of utilities that are located along the potential route of any flood defence.

"The Environment Agency, together with all partners, is committed to driving forward the delivery of this project and to make best possible use of the public money available."

The plans come as communities are being urged to prepare for flooding this winter with the Environment Agency warning of “ignoring the danger at your own peril”.

The Environment Agency has launched its Flood Action Week to encourage those who live in areas at risk of flooding to act now to protect their home, possessions and family.

This year alone, the UK experienced its highest-ever recorded temperatures, as the Met Office confirmed that England had its joint hottest summer on record with much of the country still struggling with drought.

Looking ahead to this winter, although the Met Office says the chance of wet and windy weather increases as we go through the season, unexpected flooding could occur at any time and communities are being warned not to be complacent following this summer’s dry weather.

Beales Corner artist impression

Floods Minister Rebecca Pow said: "I know how devastating flooding can be - the loss of your home, the financial stress, and the destruction of irreplaceable, sentimental belongings all place unbelievable strain on those affected.

"Simple steps such as checking your flood risk online and signing up for flood warnings can make all the difference in terms of preparing yourself for what may come.

"We are committed to pressing ahead with our record £5.2 billion investment in flood and coastal defences between 2021 and 2027 to ensure more communities are even better prepared for future flooding events.

Will Lang from the Met Office added: "Winters in the UK usually include a wide variety of weather, and this winter looks to be no exception.

"Although we expect to see high pressure dominating our weather through much of the early winter, which increases the potential for cold spells, we could still see wet and windy weather at times.

"The risk of unsettled weather increases as we head into 2023 with wet, windy, and mild spells a real possibility."