Diggers have moved onto the parcel of land earmarked for phase two of the Buckton Fields development - seven years after plans were first submitted.
Developers Ensign Group Limited saw plans for 380 new homes on a 37-acre patch of land on the edge of Whitehills approved in September last year.
The homes will come in a variety of brick types, styles and sizes and the developers have pledged to give an amount towards the building of the North-West Relief Road project for every one built.
On Monday, diggers moved onto fields on the southern border of the site, formerly owned by Smith's Farm, which some neighbours believed to be the start of construction works.
A Daventry District Council spokesman said this is not the case, as contractors are simply carrying out an archaeological survey work for the proposed homes.
Provision for a free school is included in the latest plans and it is understood the surveys being carried out on the land could also be to assess whether it will be a suitable for a school.
Former courier Keith Mills, whose home in Sherwood Avenue, Whitehills, backs onto the rolling farmland is one of many people to have fought the application since it was first mooted in 2007.
The 82-year-old said: "They've got a JCB and a big dumper truck on there.
"It seems they are taking soil from one side of the field to the other. They have a portable cabin set up and there are people walking around in reflective jackets.
"I asked one chap who put a flag marker down about 10 metres from the end of my garden what was going on and he said something about archeology."
When completed the entire Buckton Field development will see 1,050 homes built on land to the northern border of Northampton Borough Council, some of which is still owned by Northamptonshire County Council.
The free school was originally set to open in 2019.