A NEW £14.4million scheme for the elderly has been praised as a 'stand-out' development by a Labour shadow minister.

John Healey, the a party's housing spokesman, yesterday visited Riverside Heights in Shorey Bank Way, Darwen.

The scheme is aimed at over-50s and has 85 self-contained apartments, with a range of additional facilities including a restaurant and gardens.

It also includes care and support for residents that can be stepped up as their needs increase.

Mr Healey said: "Riverside Heights is a stand-out example of top-quality specialised housing with care for the elderly.

"It is the sort of development Labour would like to see more of.

"Blackburn with Darwen Council and Together Housing are to be congratulated for this scheme, one of only a few completed in the last two years after the government changed the funding arrangements for this type of development.

"It is truly part of the community with a restaurant open to local people and a stepped-up care provision for those who need it so they do not have to move.."

Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Rossendale and Darwen, Alyson Barnes, who accompanied him on the visit, said: “It was good to see older people with care needs able to access high-quality accommodation so close to the town centre."