Almost 600 new homes are to be built in Kent as part of a deal between developer Keepmoat Homes and national agency Homes England.
Homes England is to sell an 11.6 hectare site at Northfield Embankment in Ebbsfleet to Keepmoat who will then build 598 homes and a new primary school as part of the deal.
On London's doorstep
The project will also include improved transport links and green open spaces to create what Housing Minister Kit Malthouse called a "vibrant garden community on London's doorstep".
More than a third of the new homes (224) will be classed as affordable.
Homes England is the government's housing accelerator with a brief to encourage faster development and delivery of homes across the country.
100 units a year
The Ebbsfleet site gained planning permission from Gravesham Borough Council and Ebbsfleet Development Corporation last year. The first homes are expected to be ready for occupation on the site by May 2020 with Keepmoat pledging to built more than 100 units a year.
Stephen Kinsella, executive director for land at Homes England, welcomed the deal, saying: "Getting homes built on public land is at the heart of our mission, so we're delighted to see Northfleet Embankment now start on site."
Tim Beale, chief executive of Keepmoat Homes, added: "We are delighted to have completed this new deal with Homes England and are looking forward to starting on site at this transformational development in Northfleet, where we will create a thriving new community on the banks of the River Thames that is only 20 minutes from central London via Ebbsfleet International station."