THE long-standing finance chief of Highland housebuilder Springfield Properties has stepped down with immediate effect.

Michelle Motion had worked for Springfield for nine years, initially as finance director and then, further to the company’s stock market flotation in 2017, chief financial officer. She has been replaced on an interim basis by finance director Iain Logan while the firm undertakes a search for a new chief financial officer.

The company said it will update the market on the recruitment effort in due course.

READ MORE: Springfield shares tumble amid affordable housing challenges

During Ms Motion’s time with Springfield, the company has completed a series of acquisitions. These include last summer’s £46.3m deal to buy the housebuilding business of Glasgow-based Mactaggart & Mickel, and the acquisitions of Tulloch Homes and Dawn Homes.

Sandy Adam, chairman of Springfield, said: "On behalf of the board and everyone at Springfield, I would like to thank Michelle for her contribution over the past nine years. During that period, we have become a public company and undertaken multiple acquisitions that have transformed the scale of our business. We wish Michelle all the best for the future."

READ MORE: Mactaggart & Mickel exits housebuilding after 100 years in industry

The change comes shortly after Springfield said last month that it had paused activity in the affordable housing market amid spiralling cost inflation.

The company said the impact of cost inflation on fixed-price contracts in affordable housing had offset the growth it had seen in the private market as it reported profits had fallen by 5% to £5.9 million in six months to November 30. It told the stock market that it will not enter any new long-term fixed contracts for affordable housing until market conditions improve.