The preferred developer for a multimillion-pound scheme to build about 2,400 houses across Gateshead has been announced.
Gateshead Council's cabinet has chosen to form a joint venture partnership with Evolution Gateshead, a consortium of Home Group and Galliford Try.
Under the £347m scheme, homes will be built at 19 sites over the next 15 to 20 years.
The council said it hoped work will start by early 2011.
The sites include Birtley Northside, the former rail freight depot on the Felling bypass, along with locations in Rowlands Gill, Chopwell, Bensham and Saltwell.
The announcement of the preferred developer comes at the end of a two-and-a-half year process.
Council director of development and enterprise Sheila Johnston, said: "This is a significant moment for Gateshead."