The £800m Fairham scheme is being developed by Clowes Developments in partnership with Homes England.
Northampton-based Winvic is starting enabling and groundworks this month to deliver highway, drainage and utility infrastructure.
Works will initially be focused around Nottingham Road to allow wider construction to progress through the latter part of this year and into 2021.
The works will launch the first phase of the £100m of infrastructure investment due for the 600-acre Fairham development, which was awarded planning permission at the start of 2018.
Up to 3,000 new homes, 1m sq ft of commercial space and a neighbourhood centre, as well as community, health and schools, will be developed, with the first housing sites coming forward during 2021.
Land and Planning Director with Clowes Developments, Robert Hepwood, said: “We have a long track record of working with Winvic on delivering complex and large scale schemes across the country.
“Fairham is a crucial development for the East Midlands and it will demonstrate how vital the local economy is after the events of earlier this year.
“Over the coming twelve months we will be progressing the site at pace by working closely with our partners and the public will soon see some big changes to the landscape as we move forward.”
Rob Cook, Winvic’s Civils & Infrastructure Director, said: “We can’t wait to start bringing Fairham to life, laying the foundations for the homes, community facilities and employment opportunities to come.”