Under guidance released by the housing secretary James Brokenshire, developers must take steps to protect native species.
“It is right that as we deliver houses for people, we must also provide homes and adequate leisure and sports facilities for wildlife too,” he said.
If developers do not comply, councils can refuse planning permission.
The new rules were welcomed by Arthur Hoe, head of action group ‘Save Our Snails’.
“Snails lead an extremely dull life,” he said, “So I’m very pleased that councils have finally taken our recommendations on board. From now on, these wonderful, misunderstood little creatures will be able to travel easily from one garden to the next, stopping whenever they wish to play and mate.”