Croydon council has appointed rebel architect Will Alsop to plan a new centre for the town.

Alsop’s practice, SMC Alsop, beat Ken Shuttleworth’s Make, Rem Koolhaas’ OMA and Olympic design team member EDAW to win the visioning exercise for Croydon town centre.

This is the practice’s first big visioning exercise in London, although it has done plans for several northern towns, including Bradford in West Yorkshire. During a similar exercise in Barnsley, Alsop suggested the former mining town should be rebranded as a Tuscan village.

Alsop will give a talk in November to kickstart the debate about Croydon’s future development.

The work is part of the Area Action Plan for Croydon Metropolitan Centre, which is thought to be capable of accommodating thousands of new homes and developments.

Architects Glenn Howells, John Pringle and Bill Dunster will be members of the UK’s first Urban Design review panel.

The committee, which met for the first time last week, will advise the Sheffield council on schemes under way in the city.