D'oh! The Canterbury town of Springfield has lost its doughnut.
Disappointed residents have been forced to remove the giant doughnut despite their belief it has "put the town on the map".
Locals described the 4.5m-high pink doughnut as an icon, saying it had drawn people to the small town from all around the world.
It was unveiled on July 15 to launch The Simpsons Movie, in tribute to the special role the fictional Springfield has played in the popular cartoon and to celebrate Homer Simpson's love of doughnuts.
However, the resource consent for the structure ran out, and the doughnut was removed.
"Initially, when we set out on this venture, we thought that two months would be long enough to have it on display," said William Townshend, chairman of the Springfield Township Committee.
He said he had applied to keep the doughnut on display, but did not get permission. It was removed on October 18.
"We are applying for a new resource consent that will last for 24 months," Townshend said.
"The publicity aroused by it was tremendous. We have had a lot of positive feedback from the internet, and particularly from the States."
The 3.5m-wide doughnut was given to Springfield by Twentieth Century Fox maker of The Simpsons.
About 3000 people attended the unveiling on July 15. Townshend said he had written to Selwyn District Council on September 2, seeking approval to keep the doughnut, but was unsuccessful.
"This was disheartening and a little disappointing," he said.
However, he understood the doughnut was not popular with everybody.
"In exercising their democratic right, there have been calls to the council from those who are not in favour," he said.
"I would have to be honest and say perhaps we could choose something that more vividly illustrates what Springfield offers, maybe in terms of trekking or jet-boating. However, it is nice that we have had the publicity we have been given and businesses have felt the effect it has had in putting Springfield on the map."
The doughnut is now understood to be on a local farm.
Colin Pander, owner of Smylies Accommodation, said the doughnut had proved popular. "We loved it. I have never seen so many happy people for a long time in Springfield. The last meeting we held we had 30-something people in favour, and only five or six against."
Pander said he would like to see the doughnut back as soon as possible.
Rosie Jowett, Selwyn's resource consent team leader, said it would be at least six weeks before the doughnut decision was made.
- The Press
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