Excavators have moved onto the site recently occupied by squatters in York.
Workers are clearing vegetation and levelling the earth at the plot, off Kent Road, near to the Barbican Centre.
They have also installed a high wooden fence on one boundary.
At least two large machines are working there Security guards are still patrolling too.
The activity follows years of inactivity on the site, owned by Persimmon, and comes just days after squatters were evicted from an area they had renamed the Barbican Community Centre.
Their occupation of the site drew attention to what councillor Andy D’Agorne called the ‘absolute disgrace’ of Persimmon leaving it undeveloped for 17 years after they received ‘two different lots of planning consent’.
A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes Yorkshire told YorkMix: “We are currently reviewing various options for the land and will set out our plans in due course.
“These works are necessary to maintain the site’s safety and follow an ecologist’s and an arboriculturist’s report.”
The Barbican Community Centre group behind the squat has now launched a petition calling for the site to be returned to the people of York.
They write: “The Barbican Community Centre began as an occupation intended to positively transform poorly maintained land in the city centre of York, opposite the York Barbican on Kent Road.
“The site, as many will remember, used to exist as the Barbican Baths, a much loved public swimming pool, creche and sauna, before buildings were demolished.
“The land has been shamefully neglected under the ownership of Persimmon Homes Ltd, who for the past 15 years have failed to respect the cherished memories of the space, opting instead to leave the land empty in order to profit from price inflation whilst offering nothing for the local community.
“After years of broken promises, including a public consultation, the wishes of those local to York have thus far been painfully ignored.”
The petition calls on City of York Council “to issue a compulsory purchase order to buy back the land for £1 and return the Barbican Community Centre to the people of York”.