Freedom of information and environmental information requests

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, including Berneslai Homes. It sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on the Company.

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 says that we must provide public access to environmental information held by local authorities; this includes information held by Berneslai Homes.

Since January 2005, any person who asks a public authority, including Berneslai Homes, for information must be told whether they hold that information and, subject to exemptions, be given that information.

Since September 2013, new provisions (Protection of Freedoms) state if a public authority is providing information that constitutes a dataset, and the requester has said a preference to receive the information in electronic form, they must provide it in a re-usable format so far as reasonably practicable. Berneslai Homes provides an Open Government Licence (OGL) as a default licence for datasets that can be re-used without charge.

We also have a Publication Scheme that sets out the classes of information that we publish how it is done and whether we make a charge or not. The scheme ensures that a large amount of information is available to you without the need for a specific request. It says how Berneslai Homes works and how to obtain the information published by our departments. Barnsley Councils can be accessed here.

If you want a copy of our response to any request, please send an email to: We will also need the case reference number to be able to  find and send the details to you.

What is Berneslai Homes policy on requests?

Our Freedom of Information Policy contains information to help us carry out actions and make decisions under the act.  You can also download a copy from the download section on this page.

Our Environmental Information Regulations Policy also contains information to help us carry out actions and make decisions under the Act.

How can I make a freedom of information and environmental information request?

If the information you want cannot be found under the Publication Scheme or Disclosure Log, you can make a direct request for an information search to be done.

Please complete our Freedom of Information request form to apply for information.

This form covers information requested under Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations.

What happens after I have made a request?

When we receive your request, we will:

  • acknowledge receipt of it within five days
  • either confirm it as a valid request, ask for further information, or tell you if we’ve rejected it and why
  • provide you with details of the search within 20 working days of us receiving a valid request

Most requests are free, but you may be asked to pay a small amount for photocopies and postage.  If a fee is charged, it must be paid before any information is searched for. We will tell you if there is anything to pay. Our charging Policy Fees can be found here.

Are some requests turned down?

Some sensitive information might not be available. If this is the case, we’ll tell you why we have withheld some, or all, of the information you asked for, known as exemptions.

If the cost of searching for the information would exceed £450, we can refuse to process your request, although Berneslai Homes will discuss with you whether the request can be modified to reduce the cost.


What should I do if my request is turned down?

To ask for a further review of the decision, contact us:

  • By email:
  • In writing: Head of Governance and Strategy, Berneslai Homes, PO Box 627, Barnsley S70 9FZ.
  • You can also request an independent review by our Data Protection Officer by emailing

If you are still not satisfied, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office:

  • By telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate
  • By email: (please include your telephone number)
  • In writing: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.