The Government is due to announce new measures to stop the practice of "garden grabbing" which has seen swathes of urban green space swallowed up by new housing developments.
Decentralisation minister Greg Clark is giving local councils immediate powers to prevent the building of new homes in back gardens, which has been on the rise in recent years in areas including Solihull.
According to the Communities and Local Government Department, the number of houses being built on gardens rose from one in 10 to a quarter of new properties between 1997 and 2008.
Other areas where the problem has been highlighted are Guildford, Southampton, the New Forest, Poole, Sheffield, Leeds, Wakefield, South Tyneside and Norwich.
Town halls have struggled to stop the trend as gardens have been classified as "previously residential land", making them brownfield sites in the same category as derelict factories and old railway sidings.
Mr Clark said he would be changing the designation of gardens from brownfield land to make it easier for local authorities to stop unwanted development, allowing them to reject planning applications for new houses and blocks of flats that local people oppose and which would ruin the character of the area.
The step, which he said would not affect people who wanted to build extensions on their homes, was welcomed by garden and wildlife organisations.
The move to stop garden grabbing, promised in both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat manifestos ahead of the general election, is the latest by the Government to implement coalition pledges to hand more power to local communities.
The Royal Horticultural Society, which warned at the Chelsea Flower Show last month that gardens were under threat from development, said it welcomed any measures that would protect the "vital resource".
Simon Thornton Wood, director of science and learning at the RHS, said: "Gardens, like parks, are the green lungs of cities, improving air quality, controlling air temperature and flood risk and providing a haven for wildlife.
"That's why we would like planning measures to go further than protecting existing gardens, to guarantee high quality green space and gardening opportunities in all new building developments, wherever they are."