The Oakgrove development will take eight years to complete in association with the Homes and Communities Agency.
Site preparatory work for the first phase of 231 homes started this summer and main construction is now underway.
Oakgrove will contain 2, 3, 4 and five bedroom homes in a parkland setting adjoining the river Ouzel.
Chris Tinker, Crest’s Executive Board Director responsible for the development, said: “Crest Nicholson is delighted to be commencing the delivery of this landmark and much anticipated development at such a critical time in the economic cycle.
“I have no doubt that through the jobs created and quality new homes it will both stimulate growth and meet pent-up housing need.
“We have not yet begun our full marketing campaign, however local interest has been incredible and some 600 people have already registered their interest.
“We are confident of the success of the first phase and look forward to moving on to detailed planning on successive phases of the development”
The first homes will be available for viewing in November.