The Croydon skyline may soon challenge the dizzy heights of New York after one developer revealed he is considering building the country's tallest tower block in the town centre.

The 60-storey building, which will be two floors higher than the country's current highest in Canary Wharf, would be part of a redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre and radically change a skyline already nicknamed mini-Manhattan.

Croydon's current tallest building is the not yet opened Altitude 25 in Fairfield Road, but at just 27 storeys it would be dwarfed by the new tower block.

Howard Holdings, which also developed Altitude 25, has been planning the shopping centre's regeneration for the past 18 months and expects to have a planning application in by the end of March.

The company bought the 11-acre, 93,000 sq ft, site in a joint venture with Anglo Irish Bank.

Chief executive Greg Coughlan said: "We are planning a complete redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre from the Marks and Spencer end. We're going to refurbish the whole lot and we're taking down a couple of the towers and we're going to put up two big towers. We are looking at a sixty-storey tower."

The building may though be too late to make it into the record books as the country's tallest, with plans already granted for the 72-storey Shard building in London Bridge.

Max Menon, chairman of Croydon Business Improvement District, welcomed the idea as good for the town's economy.

"If it regenerates Croydon I don't see any issue with and it will bring plenty of benefits," he added. "If you build a 60-storey building you are going to have a lot of people working in Croydon and it's going to bring money into Croydon one-way or another."

Cabinet member for planning, Councillor Chris Wright, was among a group of delegates who took a model of the town centre to the world property market summit in Cannes last year and he feels that decision paid off.

He said: "We wouldn't rule out a tower of that size just for being 60-storeys but it needs to be in the right place for it to work. It just shows how well Croydon is thought of as people are coming to us from all over the place asking what they can do and where they can do it as they know Croydon is on the up and will be a superb place in the future."

Mr Coughlan was at a topping out ceremony for Altitude 25 last Wednesday, where it was revealed that two penthouses at the 82-metre tower had already been sold for more than £1million.

The penthouses, which are 2,113 sq ft and 1,390 sq ft, were sold as empty "shells", allowing the buyers to decide everything about the layout, including how many rooms they want.