ADDITIONAL housing, a new Tesco store and a need for a bigger secondary school were just some of the issues discussed at the first meeting of the Banchory Town Forum.
Around fifty people attended the meeting, organised by Banchory Community Council, to discuss the future of the Deeside town.
Representatives from local businesses, schools, churches and the community council were all in attendance.
Feedback obtained from the event, held at Banchory St Ternan East Church last Thursday (March 12), will be submitted to Aberdeenshire Council's Local Development Plan.
Banchory Community Council chairman Keith White was pleased with how the first meeting went.
"There was a real divergence of views on some of the issues that were discussed and more of a consensus on others. For example, some people said that we need to build across the river and other people disagreed, saying that this is not an option. Overall, I thought the meeting was very beneficial."
Those attending the event were split into five groups and tasked with the aim of coming up with the major issues that will affect the future of Banchory before presenting their findings back to the whole group.
Tourism, conservation areas, plans to demolish the Bellfield Care Home and the lack of facilities in the Hill of Banchory were all raised during the meeting.
Mr White added: "Housing was the issue that was discussed. On my table the need to create more jobs for the people of Banchory was raised and I think that is something that we do need to examine."
Tony Brown, who coordinated the meeting on behalf of Banchory Community Council, said a second meeting of the town forum is being planned for May to coincide with the release of the Aberdeenshire Council Local Development Plan main issues report.
"I think the meeting was a significant success," he said. "There was a large amount of participation and energy on the night and an enthusiasm for a second meeting."
Banchory and Mid-Deeside councillors Jill Webster, Karen Clark and Linda Clark also attended the event.
Councillor Webster added: "The inaugural meeting of the town forum was very successful and I was pleased that there was generally a consensus from the working groups about the priorities for Banchory. This information along with the output from the Making it Real consultation sessions provides real evidence that can be used to drive forward an improvement agenda for the town. I am hopeful that individuals on the forum will seize the opportunity to make a difference to Banchory and become involved in individual projects as they arise."