A NEW £6million bar which will replace the old Lloyds bank in Marlow High Street is set to open in mid-December.

Baroosh, a chain owned by McMullen and Sons, is moving into the town centre premise.

The change from cash and cheques to champagne and cocktails has been in the pipeline for about two years.

It has been criticised by some who think Marlow has enough bars and coffee shops already.

Among the critics is Terry Price, chairman of Marlow People's Action Group.

"We need another bar like a hole in the head," he said.

"There's ten different places where we can get a cup of coffee but you tell me where's there's a butcher or a grocer?

"The character of Marlow has changed totally.

"I think the majority of people in the town are disgusted with what's happening in the town.

"If you were to turn Marlow High Street into the way it used to people would flock there in their thousands."

Lyn Skinner, 75, retired, from Bisham, said: "I think it's out of keeping where it is and we've got enough bars and coffee shops in Marlow already."

However, ex-mayor Derek Done, said it was better than having a boarded up shop.

He said: "The positive aspect of this is the High Street is still vibrant, though Spittal Street perhaps isn't.

"People say we've got enough cafes but if you have a market economy that's how it works."

Lloyds has moved to another High Street premise.

Thirty new jobs are being created by the new bar. McMullen and Sons Managing Director Peter Furness-Smith, has told the Free Press previously that the bar, described as stylish and contemporary, will add 'vitality' and 'value' to the town.

He said: "I am sure that there will be a minority who do not want to see any change but we are not making a £6m investment in Marlow lightly.

"We are therefore confident that a significant number of Marlow’s residents will appreciate and use Baroosh."

The Free Press asked McMullens what assurances it could give residents about anti-social behaviour in the town centre after a recent brawl among drinkers at another pub nearby.

Mr Furness-Smith said: "Our priority is to ensure that our customers have an enjoyable experience in a safe environment and our intention in Marlow is to further build on our good reputation.

"Unfortunately there are a few anti social individuals in most towns who will try and ruin a night out for the vast majority. Fortunately these types of unacceptable incident are few and far between but most towns will have experienced something like this."