A notice appears outside a row of terraced houses. FOR DEVELOPMENT 416, 000 SQUARE FEET OF PRIME OFFiCE SPACE. Later twenty storeys of glass and concrete rear up into the atmosphere. We have all seen it happen. Throughput Britain cities have been radically altered in outline and structure by a spate of office building. Peter Ambrose and Bob Colenutt spell out why this'has happened, who allowed it to happen and what'it actually means to the community. Writing from a nontechnical standpoint, they examine in detail the main components of the property system - the developers, the financial institutions, and the.local. and central planning machinery. They then look closely at what has happened in two specific areas, Brighton and Southwark, and conctude with a set of prescriptions for change. For. as they clearly reveal, office development often exacts a high price from theman in the street, as he faces soaring rents and rates, a scarcity of domestic housing and the enforced break-up of local communities.