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Purpose of buildings in France

The destination of buildings in town planning is why a building is built. It is one of the elements indicated in the planning application for the property (building permit or prior declaration).


What is the difference between "purpose of buildings" and " use of buildings"?

A difference is usually made between the purpose of buildings and the use to which they are put. The use of buildings is de facto as regards the use to which a building is put. It relates to a prerogative of the French Construction and Housing Code intended to prevent housing from being used for other purposes in certain communes.


Purpose of buildings in France and under destination

The concept of destination of buildings was redefined in 2015. There are now 5 destinations, each comprising several sub-destinations:

1. Agricultural and Forestry Operation

  • agricultural exploitation
  • lumbering dwelling

2. Housing

  • accommodation

3. Trade and service activities

  • crafts and retail
  • restoration
  • Wholesale
  • service activities where the reception of a clientele takes place
  • hotel and tourist accommodation
  • cinema

4. Community facilities and public services

  • premises and offices for the general public and similar
  • technical and industrial premises of public and similar administrations
  • educational, health and social work institutions
  • art and spectator halls
  • sports equipments
  • other equipment for the public

5. Other activities in the secondary or tertiary sector

  • industry
  • warehouse
  • office
  • Convention and Exhibition Center
Frequently asked questions