A GREEN belt is needed in Cardiff to keep the capital separate from Newport to maintain their separate identities, according to Newport council.

Cardiff council is currently working on its local development plan that will set out how the city develops through until 2026.

A Newport council response to the plan calls for a green belt on land directly east of a proposed area for housing in Pontprennau, north-east Cardiff.

Cardiff planning cabinet member Ralph Cook said he is sympathetic to the council’s view and would want to see a green belt right around the capital.

According to a consultation response approved by Newport regeneration cabinet member John Richards, Newport does not objection to the allocation of land for 2,000 homes in Pontprennau.

But it says that land to the east of the site should be allocated as a green belt in order to “retain the important Cardiff-Newport gap and retain the strong identity of both cities in their own right”.

“There is no appetite for the cities to merge and development of this area of land would place that important strategic gap under threat,” the response says. The area is next to the proposed Newport green belt extension as shown in the deposit version of the Newport local development plan.

Councillor Cook, Cardiff council cabinet member for strategic planning, highways, traffic and transportation, said he saw the two cities as “two sisters that need to maintain their separate identities”.

He said that if the two cities coalesce the clarity between them disappears: “It makes it too difficult for the two communities to set their own agendas.”

Cllr Cook said a wider green belt that would stretch right around Cardiff was being considered.

The capital’s LDP is to be put to council members later this year.