A plan to convert the historic India Club at the Strand Continental into hotel bedrooms has been refused by local councillors who said it was ‘culturally important’ to the city of London.
Last year plans were submitted by the freehold owners of the Strand, Marston Properties, to transform the building and create 30 bedrooms, which would have seen the India Club closed to make way for the work.
Westminster Council have rejected the application for the upgrade work, saying that the Club was an ‘important cultural and night-time venue’.
More than 26,000 people signed a petition opposing the plans ahead of Tuesday’s committee meeting, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).
In response the freeholders Marston Properties said that it is now considering a ‘slight amended scheme’, and were ‘confident’ they could find a way to improve the building.
The original plan would have involved closing the restaurant, bar, and a ground floor shop.
The India Club was founded by the UK’s first Indian high commissioner, Krishna Menon, in 1946 and moved to The Strand in 1964.
Its co-founders were Lady Edwina Mountbatten – the wife of the last governor of India – and Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister.
Owner Yadgar Marker said the restaurant was “a constant reminder of Westminster’s multicultural identity and Indo-British friendship”.