The National Trust, which has teamed up with housebuilders Redrow and Bryant, will put plans for a 650-home development out to public consultation later this month. A planning application will be lodged with the local authority by the end of the year.
A spokesperson for the National Trust said: "We're preparing the initial phase of the masterplan. We will go out to public consultation in the next week or two."
The scheme has taken been delayed in recent years by negotiations on its environmental element.
A source close to the trust said there had been some compromise between it and the housebuilders. He said: "National Trust demands were deemed excessive – such as over the delivery of energy efficiency and water standards."
The land was earmarked for housing development when the site's former owner, Lord Stamford, left his estate to the trust in his will.
The trust spokesperson said: "When Stamford put his will together he recognised the plot of land had potential for development." He died in 1976.
We’re preparing the masterplan and will go out to consultation in the next week or two
National Trust spokesperson
The trust has previously been involved in a social housing scheme at Dunham Massey.
Earlier this year it announced plans for a 198-home development at Cliveden, Buckinghamshire. The Cliveden estate was involved in the the Profumo affair, a sex scandal that rocked the Macmillan government in the early 1960s.
The Cliveden scheme is being developed by Countryside Properties on the site of a derelict Canadian Red Cross hospital. The hospital, which was abandoned in 1986, will now provide about 40 housing units for key workers.
The scheme lies just three-quarters of a mile from the estate's main stately home, now a five-star hotel.
The schemes signify the trust's drive to become better known in its development capacity.