In a judgment handed down on 27 July 2012, the Conseil d' Etat ruled that the provisions of a local urban planning document (formerly POS or PLU) which prohibit in principle or limit the

of any owner to subdivide his land are illegal.

Their authors do not have the competence to prohibit the faculty recognized to the owners to proceed, under the conditions provided for in Book IV of the Urban Planning Code, with the division of land for the purpose of the implantation of buildings, faculty which participates in the exercise of their right to dispose of their property.

The Council of State considers that "by prohibiting subdivisions in one or more zones it delimits, the by-law of a land use plan or local urban planning plan, by principle, establishes rules that go beyond those which the law authorizes it to prescribe". Only the legislator can thus set its limits, prohibit in general and absolute the creation of subdivisions in one or more zones.

It considers that this option is part of the exercise of the right to dispose of its property. Article 544 of the Civil Code states that property is the right to enjoy and dispose of things in the most absolute manner, and Article 17 of the Declaration of Human Rights and the Citizen defines property as "an inviolable and sacred right". This fundamental freedom facilitates the victory of the urban over rural areas and trivialization, standardization and landscape. The debate remains unresolved.

Law Firm DAMY