The developer behind a proposed housing scheme at the site of an iconic cinema has vowed to restore the building to its former glory.

Asprea 2 Limited wants to bring back the art deco façade at Safari Cinema, in Station Road, that was covered up by metal cladding around six decades ago.

It forms part of a redevelopment at the site, which could see 78 flats built in a block up to 11 storeys high.

The design will also feature lighting to further highlight the original 1936 façade.

Developers plan to maintain a cinema at the site, which will be based on the ArtHouse Cinema in Crouch End.

They explained that it will show mainstream films, arthouse and independent screenings, and live streams of National Theatre performances.

It will also offer workshop space for local people – “primarily young people” – who wish to explore, and study, skills associated with the film industry.

Emma White, planning consultant representing Asprea 2 Limited, said the proposals were positively received by bodies at Harrow Council and the Greater London Authority.

She said: “Harrow Council has wanted to see the art deco façade restored for years.

“It is enshrined within their planning policy for the site and the site has also been earmarked for residential redevelopment.

“For the first time, our client is in a position to be able to deliver on the council’s aspiration – to see the façade restored and Station Road enhanced by its restoration.”

She added that the site is in one of the Mayor of Harrow’s designated ‘opportunity areas’ and believes a revamped cinema will be a “great boon” for the borough.

The building has most-recently been owned by M. Hati Limited, which has decided to sell the land to focus on other projects.

A church, V2V Community Church, also makes use of the site and has previously called on people to lobby the council against the proposals.

The council has sent out letters to nearby residents inviting them to comment on the application ahead of a decision being taken.