"A recent study by the Policy Exchange, a pro-free market think tank, identified a failure in the planning process that stifled development while not protecting biodiversity.
"The report, Nurturing Nature highlighted the importance of the natural environment to economic activity - that ecological processes deliver the resources needed for economic progress - but 11 of 15 of the most important UK habitats are declining.
"It found that although particular patches of land are protected, they form 'ghettos' which are not connected by the corridors that wildlife needs.
"The report also concluded that protecting areas of land did not always mean protecting particular species and that the effectiveness of compensation schemes for biodiversity was rarely monitored.
"The study argued that managing biodiversity needs to be enshrined in the design stages of projects, especially if the principle of a 'net gain' in biodiversity is to be achieved."