Stewart Baseley, the chairman of the Home Builders Federation, is acting as chief executive after this week’s announcement that Robert Ashmead is leaving the organisation.

Ashmead, who joined the HBF four years ago, will leave before Christmas. Baseley, who was chairman and chief executive of Fairclough Homes until it was taken over by the Miller Group in September, will work alongside Sarah Drake, the HBF’s recently appointed managing director.

Ashmead said that he had decided to seek a fresh challenge after the recent conclusion of the organisation’s strategic review.

He said: “I have greatly enjoyed my time with the HBF, which has been both challenging and satisfying, but I now want to move on to other things. I shall take some time to consider my options for the future.”

“We’ve put the industry back on the map. It’s now regarded in government as part of the solution rather than the problem.”

Baseley said: “Rob has achieved what we asked of him: the HBF has a strong team of enthusiastic and able people delivering quality services to our growing membership, and is welcomed by government as a valued contributor to the housing supply debate. We wish him well for the future.”

As part of its strategic review, the organisation made five redundancies, including that of its public relations director Pierre Williams earlier this year.