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The question: Brownfield sites

Convincing investors to put money into redeveloping contaminated land is the key to the Government's efforts to promote the reuse of derelict urban sites.

This week we ask: How would you feel about buying a house on a recently cleaned up brownfield site?

Yes, I would buy a home on a brownfield site, but as a civil engineer I have a good idea of what I would be buying into.

The challenge is to educate the general public - investors are only reluctant because they think their returns will be damaged by a lack of public confidence to buy on brownfield sites.

Mike Honeyman, 27 (G), engineer, Birmingham

I would have no problem purchasing a property on a brownfield site so long as I was assured that the clean up had been carried out by a reputable contractor supervised by a suitably experienced consulting engineer. Perhaps these two criteria should be better publicised by potential vendors of such properties as a means of reassuring the public that previously unsuitable sites can be reinvigorated in a responsible manner.

Bill Addington, 43, consulting engineer, Kuala Lumpur

I would be happier about moving on to a more recently cleaned up brownfield site compared to an older site as my perception is that the technology for testing and the methods and techniques for cleaning are more effective than they were. However, I would prefer to live on a new site unless the brownfield site could offer me something that the other sites could not, for example city centre location.

Matthew Young, 32, innovation manager, Hampshire

Having worked on a brownfield site and seen the extent of the precautions taken I would have no worries about buying a house on such a site.

John Warner, freelance engineer, Amersham I would want to see all the remediation details contained within the leasehold of the property so an informed decision could be made. A process like this needs to be open and handled in a truly professional manner. If the seller did not want to disclose the information it could be construed that something was being covered up.

Gary Kent, 34, principal engineer, Sheffield

I am not too keen on new houses anyway but if I was then I would not have an issue with the ground my house was built on. However, I would need to know that it was definitely cleaned up, how much cleaning up was required and what previous contamination there was, if only to gauge how well my vegetables will flourish.

Adrian Hannay, 31, coastal engineer, Croydon

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