A petition to save the India Club restaurant in London is gathering support after it emerged that it was under threat from development plans.
The owners of the freeholds of 143 and 145 the Strand have submitted plans to modernise the site, which could result in the disappearance of the club, which has stayed the same since the 1940s.
India Club director Yagdar Marker has launched an online petition to fight the proposals, which currently has just over 1,000 signatures.
Freeholder Marston Properties aims to remodel the interior of the building, replacing the India Club’s first floor restaurant and lounge bar with en-suite hotel rooms.
There would also be a partial demolition of the ground floor to allow better access to the Strand Continental hotel, which is above the India Club and is also run by Marker.
The India Club’s lease expires in 2019.
It was started by India’s first high commissioner to the UK, Krishna Menon, and counted Lady Mountbatten and prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru among its founding members.
Explaining the significance of the club, Marker’s petition stated: “It was a meeting place for leading writers, intellectuals and politicians associated with India’s independence. To this day, it has retained it’s original features and still stands very much as it did in the days of the post-independence movement. It is a crucial part of the joint heritage of the UK and India.”
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