On the day the Bath and North East Somerset Council Cabinet gathers for its last meeting of 2020, local Conservatives are calling on it to declare it will not develop the ecologically important 'Tufa Field' site off Englishcombe Lane.
Local residents have launched a petition to try to persuade the Council to save the site, where recently legally-protected slow worms were destroyed - it is claimed - by preparatory work undertaken by the Council's own development company.
Bath Conservatives spokesperson, former councillor Bob Goodman, said:
"This isn't a Party political matter, it's about Bath's landscape and environment, which should matter to all of us. I am speaking with councillors of all political persuasions who are very concerned about what might happen over the next few weeks.
"This land is owned by the Council, and planning permission was given by the Council to the Council's own development company to build on it. It is entirely in the Council's power to promise now that it will not destroy this very special environmental site within the City. They should do the right thing, and protect this precious site.
"Residents are worried that, with no full open Council meeting now due until March, development work may begin on the site, and its fragile ecology be destroyed for ever. There needs to be a firm decision taken now, in public, by the Cabinet."
The Tufa Field site was declared of County-wide importance by Council ecologists. It's rare habitat is the result of the unique underlying geology, meaning the Council's plans to transplant any remaining slow worms and other wildlife to another site seems unlikely to succeed.
In July, the LibDem Council declared an Ecological Emergency. Bath Conservatives say the Council should put its words into action, and help local residents to set up a Community Interest Company to help protect the site for future generations.