Haringey Council has drawn up plans to make the borough’s parks and green spaces “fully inclusive” so that they benefit all residents.

Inclusion and wellbeing is the central goal of the council’s draft parks and green spaces strategy, which will cover the period from 2023 to 2038 following its expected approval early next year.

Haringey has 148 parks and green spaces, which cover almost 13% of the borough. The draft strategy states that parks “are overwhelmingly designed based upon the preferences of people from a white ethnic background” and can also feel “inaccessible and unwelcoming” to people with disabilities and those from LGBTQI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex] communities.

In order to change this and foster inclusion, the document states that the council could develop new facilities that encourage people from different ethnic backgrounds and social groups to use parks.

The second goal of the strategy is to contribute to the mitigation of climate change by replacing or refurbishing buildings, vehicles and machinery. This would help to meet the council’s aim of making the management and maintenance of parks carbon neutral by 2041.

Thirdly, the strategy plans to improve service quality by making park maintenance easier. This could mean paddling pools are replaced with “more modern water-based play” – a move that could also support climate change and sustainability aims.

The strategy was presented to a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Cllr Julie Davies, cabinet member for communities and civic life, told the meeting: “The most important part of this is a reframing of our approach to look at accessibility and inclusion, particularly for groups that feel there are barriers to them using parks for leisure services.”

Further plans set out in the strategy include enhancing biodiversity, increasing tree canopy cover and managing flood risks.

Cllr Mike Hakata, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for climate action, environment and transport, drew attention to a plan to create ten new sites of importance for nature conservation (Sincs) in the borough.

“I think Haringey leads on this,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any other borough in the capital that has extended Sinc designations by ten. That is going to be really important in terms of improving access to natural green space in the east of the borough.”

Cllr Adam Jogee, cabinet member for economic development, jobs and community cohesion, asked whether young people’s views would be taken into account after families in his Hornsey ward were affected by the late opening of the paddling pool in Priory Park this summer.

Cllr Davies said the pools at Bruce Castle Park and Priory Park were “coming to the end of their natural lives”. She added that the council had identified funding to “revisit” water play in those parks, which could involve replacing “old-fashioned” paddling pools with different facilities, and that parents and families would be involved in “co-producing” the plans.

Under questioning from Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison, council officers said an apparent plan to charge for tennis courts had been included as an “oversight” and would be amended. Council leader Cllr Peray Ahmet confirmed the policy on tennis courts was that they would remain free to use.

The council will hold a public consultation on its draft parks and green spaces strategy, which is due to run for a minimum of eight weeks from September 26. A final version of the document will be brought back to cabinet in March 2023 for formal adoption.