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Historic London restaurant saved as council halts development plans

The Strands iconic India Club has been spared destruction by Westminster city council after an application for redevelopment was denied last night.

Plans to revamp one of Londons most established Indian restaurants were refused on the grounds of its cultural and historical importance.

Marston Properties, the freeholders who had hoped to create a more modern tourist accommodation on the six-storey site, wanted to replace first-floor rooms in the India Club with en-suite hotel rooms.

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However, Westminsters planning applications sub-committee blocked the demolition, arguing that it would lead to the "loss of an important cultural venue".

The club, which has its history rooted in post-colonial British politics, moved to 143-145 The Strand in 1964, with founding members including Indias first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Countess Mountbatten, wife of the last viceroy.

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In a statement the club said: "We are delighted that Westminster Council has refused an application that would have seen a unique and iconic piece of London's history disappear. We have been overwhelmed with the support we have received with over 26,000 people signing our petition in support of the India Club.

"The India Club is a constant reminder of Westminster's multicultural identity and Indo-British friendship."

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