Sweeping measures designed to improve the quality of new homes could be in place by early 2021, according to sources involved in setting up the independent body, which is designed to tackle poor workmanship in the housebuilding sector.

All housing developers will be required to adhere to the ombudsman’s planned code of practice, which is expected to place tougher requirements on parties involved in the construction, inspection, sale and aftercare of new homes.

If firms fail to meet the standards of the code, they could face fines or be prevented from operating as a builder.

The ombudsman will also have powers to help consumers with a dispute within two years of their buying a house, lengthening the period in which a housebuilder could be held responsible for its work.

An interim New Homes Quality Board chaired by MP Natalie Elphicke (pictured) is responsible for the creation of the ombudsman, which was set up following a series of consumer scandals involving poor-quality housing.

“They [the board] want to see what the industry is putting forward in terms of voluntary sector-led solutions, but if that solution doesn’t deliver what they want, they’ve got all options on the table to put something in place separately themselves,” said one person involved in the plans.

“The ambition is that it will be supported by all parties but regardless, it will be mandatory and the decisions of the ombudsman will be binding.”

The ombudsman’s creation follows a swathe of consumer scandals over new homes built by major developers in recent years. An independent review into Persimmon last year found that the housebuilder did not have agreed minimum standards for all the homes it was building.