A Hendon kosher butcher's has lost a battle to prevent a competitor starting up a few doors away.
The fourth branch of Albert Bendahan's Kosher Delicatessen chain opened on Monday in Brent Street, on the corner of Heriot Road, close to the premises of Nissim Glatt Kosher, established by Nissim Chabbat eight years ago. Both are under the supervision of the London Board for Shechitah (LBS).
"We fought against this," said Mr Chabbat's wife Lilian. "We wrote letters and we spoke to the LBS but nobody listened. Many of our suppliers complained on our behalf.
"We fear that this will harm our business because there is not enough business for two of us."
Mr Bendahan said he had carefully considered the impact his shop would have on Nissim's before proceeding with the licence application.
There is not enough business for two of us
"I did have qualms about it but the rabbonim looked at the halachic implications. There weren't any so they gave me the go-ahead. I have no desire to do any harm to Nissim, who is a wonderful man."
LBS chief executive David Rose said that when "considering locational issues, the board has to have regard both to UK competition law and halachah. It specifically asks its rabbinical authority for halachic guidance on an application by application basis."
With Mr Bendahan's application, "the size of the kosher meat-buying public in the Hendon area was noted as was the comparatively few licensed kosher butchers in the area. This is in stark contrast to the number of supervised bakeries and restaurants in Hendon. The public interest was to increase consumer choice and competition."
The authority kept retail competition issues under review "and will take any necessary steps under English law and halachah to ensure that no operator gets a market dominant position that threatens consumer choice".