The India Club, 143-145 The Strand – Asset Community Value Application

The owners of the freehold of the India Club are at it again and have resubmitted another planning application for a “Boutique Hotel” Wikipedia sums up “Boutique” as:

A boutique is “a small store that sells stylish clothing, jewelry, or other usually luxury goods. The term “boutique” and also “designer” refer (with some differences) to both goods and services which are containing some element that is claimed to justify an extremely high price, itself called boutique pricing”.

In other words another high priced joint with no cultural significance whatsoever; whose sole purpose is conspicuous consumption that the vast majority of people cannot afford and would not entertain in the first place. I wish someone would lock Marston Properties in a boutique lavatory, flush them down a boutique toilet into a boutique sewer so they can make their boutique way to the coast.

The current management are trying to preserve the club India Club for the future and they have applied to Westminster Council for Asset of Community Value status. If granted, this recognises the significant community value of the India Club and would strengthen their position against re-development plans.

It would be a great help if you could email in support of the Asset of Community Value application for India Club at 143-145 Strand, to Andrew Barry-Purssell at , outlining why India Club is important to you and it’s community value.

Set out below is my submission which I hope will prove helpful. I do hope you can submit an email to Andrew Barry-Purssell.

Dear Mr Barry-Purssell
I am writing to register my support for the Asset Community Value Application for the
historic India Club Bar & Restaurant  143-145 Strand based at the Hotel Strand Continental, London.
The India Club was started by Krishna Menon, India’s first High Commissioner to the UK, in 1946 and moved to The Strand in 1964;  little has changed since then with internal features remaining much the same. 
Originally established by Krishna Menon, India’s first High Commissioner to the UK, and founding members including Prime Minister Nehru and Lady Mountbatten, India Club has been a symbol of Indo-British friendship. It became a platform for India League’s post-independence activities and a meeting place for various Indo-British groups and the India League  held meetings in the 1950s, soon after independence in 1947. The building also played a key part in immigrant history and experience in the UK acting as a home-away-from-home for the Indian diaspora.
In terms of diversity in London, William Gould, professor of Indian history at the University of Leeds, said the club played an important role in the 1960s when the first arrivals of immigrants from south Asia to help rebuild postwar Britain. He told the Observer in May this year “There’s some evidence that this was a place that people came to when they first arrived,” . “It is related to some of the themes of Windrush.”
Furthermore, Councillor Tony Devenish, chairman of Westminster’s planning applications sub-committee,recognised the cultural importance of the India Club and  said: “Westminster council refused permission for the redevelopment of 143-145 Strand due the potential loss of an important cultural venue located on its site, the India Club. The India Club has a special place in the history of our Indian community and it is right that we protect it from demolition.” 
The India Club is also a crucial part of the wide social landscape in London’s West End, the diversity of it ‘s patrons is to be welcomed and also the price of a meal is reasonable when so many of the restaurants in central London are beyond the pockets of many people. The India Club continues its ethos of good food at reasonable prices which was a guiding motive when the Club was first established by Krishna Menon in 1946. 
The India Club is a constant reminder of Westminster’s multicultural identity and Indo-British friendship and deserves to be recognised as an important asset to the community.
Yours sincerely
Chris Hodgkins

Attached documents (click to download)

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