THE YORKSHIRE Dales National Park Authority is to challenge the open housing market by allowing affordable rural housing to be built specifically for rural people.

Virtually all new housing in the Dales will be limited to needy locals and incomers filling local jobs, reports The Guardian.

The plan, which has the backing of a government planning inquiry, was drawn up by all-party and independent members of the National Park authority.

The paper claims the radical plan is necessary since the influx of people buying second homes has pushed the average house price beyond the reach of most local residents.

The properties are expected to sell for a third less than the market price and will be protected by restrictive covenants imposed in perpetuity.

It is expected that the ramifications will spread much further as the Park Authority has worked with counterparts in the Lake District and the North York Moors.