Two councils have agreed in principle to join forces to run a council service.
Kirklees Cabinet is exploring running a joint building control service with Bradford Council.
And they are hoping Calderdale may one day join them.
Clr Steve Hall, Cabinet member for Place, said: “We are looking at a number of new ways of working, including doing business with Bradford City Council.
“The benefits that it will bring includes saving us money – it’s a tough game with building control.”
Building control is an income-generator for local authorities, who carry out a range of inspections on projects from small developments to large football stadiums. Inspectors must be satisfied that construction meets standards of public safety.
But Kirklees Cabinet were not overly content with the “privatisation” of the service – they say developers can now pick their own inspectors.
Council papers explain: “These applications are subject to competition from the private sector, but the council remains the inspector of last resort and has a duty to pick up all submitted work.”
Clr Peter McBride added: “It is important that we retain this service. If we don’t continue to run that service will be put out to the private sector and it’s not right the private sector should be running regulation of buildings.”
Council leader, Clr David Sheard, added: “I think this is something we should be doing across the Combined Authority (West Yorkshire) area, we need to look at more joint services.
“It raises questions that companies are allowed to choose their own inspector... fortunately a lot still do use our inspectors.”
As well as the public safety element, building control services also includes naming and numbering new streets, offering fire safety services and advice to council and external organisations.
Kirklees says that by joining forces with Bradford – and potentially others in the future – it will give them additional market power and economies of scale will reduce costs.
Cabinet backed the idea and a detailed assessment will now take place which looks at governance issues before a final decision is taken.